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Masatsugu Asakawa

Masatsugu Asakawa is the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors. He was elected President by ADB’s Board of Governors and assumed office on 17 January 2020.

14 September 2021 Tax, digitalization are focus of President Asakawa’s discussion at an International Monetary Fund (IMF) event

President Masatsugu Asakawa, at an IMF event, discussed the present and future of taxation in an increasingly digitalized world and the global and domestic reforms needed to meet these challenges. He touched on the opportunities created by digitalization for revenue mobilization in Asia, the main implementation challenges facing developing Asian countries, and expressed ADB’s commitment to address the challenges faced by digitization. The event coincided with the launch of an IMF paper that analyzes taxation and digitalization in Asia. 

9 September 2021 President Asakawa addresses Greater Mekong Subregion Summit

President Masatsugu Asakawa affirmed ADB's commitment to foster regional cooperation and integration, and remain a steadfast partner of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and the GMS program in opening remarks on 9 September 2021 at the 7th GMS Summit. He emphasized the importance of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2030 (GMS-2030) and the GMS COVID-19 Response and Recovery Plan 2021-2030 to achieve the vision of a more integrated, sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive GMS. He noted that the GMS-2030 will aim to promote inclusion, ensure green and sustainable recovery, support open regionalism, and complement renewed globalization. Read the news release

3 September 2021 President Asakawa, COP26 President discuss participation at UN conference

President Masatsugu Asakawa and 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) President Alok Sharma on 3 September 2021 discussed ADB’s participation in the conference, including plans to launch a partnership for the Energy Transition Mechanism. President Asakawa highlighted ADB’s commitments to the Paris alignment, scaling up investments in adaptation and resilience, mobilizing the private sector, and revising its energy policy in line with COP26 key priority areas. They also discussed ADB’s work with other MDBs on climate finance reporting and support for a Just Transition.

20 August 2021 President Asakawa, JICA President discuss COVID-19 response, quality infrastructure investment, climate change

President Masatsugu Asakawa and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President Shinichi Kitaoka on 20 August 2021 met in Tokyo to discuss the recent strategies and operations of the two organizations. They spoke about the importance of continuous collaboration and cofinancing in supporting the ADB member countries’ post-COVID recovery and quality infrastructure investment, as well as accelerating climate actions to meet the Paris Agreement goals.

29 July 2021 President Asakawa calls for redoubling investments in education at Global Education Summit

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 29 July 2021 delivered a message at the Global Education Summit, calling for redoubling investments in education now when the hard-earned gains made by developing countries are at risk of being reversed under the pandemic. In recognition of the vital role of human capital development to the wellbeing and empowerment of people, equitable economic growth, and resilient and sustainable societies, the President highlighted that ADB will aim to double the percentage of ADB’s support to education to up to 10% of ADB’s total annual commitments by 2024. Organized by Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the Global Education Summit on 28-29 July focused on global action to ensure that every child gets a quality education. The summit is linked with GPE’s campaign to raise $5 billion in 5 years to help developing countries achieve SDG 4 on education and address the adverse impact of COVID-19 on children’s learning.

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Masatsugu Asakawa is the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors. He was elected President by ADB’s Board of Governors and assumed office on 17 January 2020.

Prior to joining ADB, he served as Special Advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and has a close-to-four decades’ career at the Ministry of Finance with diverse professional experience that cuts across both domestic and international fronts.

In the immediate aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, Mr. Asakawa, in his capacity as Executive Assistant to Prime Minister Taro Aso, took part in the first G20 Leaders’ Summit Meeting in November 2008. He was instrumental in orchestrating a globally coordinated financial package to abate the financial crisis, including a $100 billion loan from Japan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Then in 2016, in his capacity as Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, he took on a leading role for the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting in Sendai under the Japanese presidency, where a sustainable and inclusive development agenda was extensively discussed.

Most recently, he served as Finance Deputy for the G20 meetings under the Japanese presidency, playing a pivotal role for the success of the G20 Osaka Summit as well as the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting in Fukuoka. Some of his outstanding achievements in Osaka include the endorsement by the G20 Leaders of the “G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment” and the “G20 Shared Understanding on the Importance of UHC Financing in Developing Countries”. Before these, he had occupied various prominent positions within the Finance Ministry, including director positions in charge of development policy issues, foreign exchange markets, and international tax policy.

Mr. Asakawa’s professional experience extends beyond the realms of the Japanese government. Most notably, he served as Chief Advisor to ADB President Kimimasa Tarumizu between 1989 and 1992, during which time he spearheaded the creation of a new office focused on strategic planning. Also, he had frequent engagement with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in such positions as Chair for Committee on Fiscal Affairs (2011–2016). Furthermore, he was a senior staff at the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF (1996–2000). In the meantime, he gave lectures as Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Economic Science, Saitama University (2006–2009), and at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo (2012–2015).

Mr. Asakawa obtained his BA from University of Tokyo (Economics Faculty) in 1981, and MPA from Princeton University, USA, in 1985.