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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.

17 March 2022 President Asakawa speaks at G20-S20 Just Energy Transition webinar

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 17 March 2022 joined Indonesia President Joko Widodo to deliver a keynote speech at the Science 20 (S20) High-Level Policy Webinar on Just Energy Transition (JET). President Asakawa highlighted ADB’s commitment to building effective knowledge and financing on climate and energy transition grounded in scientific evidence and related policy actions, and that targets vulnerable groups. VP Saeed moderated a panel discussion with Indonesia's Finance Minister and ADB Governor Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif, and also with global experts, emphasizing the need for inclusivity and transparency in JET and the importance of gender considerations. The S20 supports the G20 process by fostering a dialogue with the scientific community on evidence-based decision making. Read the news release.

17 March 2022 President Asakawa meets with delegation from US Treasury

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 17 March 2022 met with delegates from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, led by the US Treasury’s Climate Counselor John E. Morton. They discussed the importance of accelerating the energy transition in the Asia and the Pacific. President Asakawa highlighted several innovative ADB initiatives, including the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM). He also emphasized ADB’s new Energy Policy.

16 March 2022 Leaders call for sustainable, inclusive recovery for Southeast Asia at third SEADS

The third Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) opened 16 March with leaders discussing measures to accelerate the region’s recovery in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. President Masatsugu Asakawa, in his speech, emphasized the importance of working together to accelerate Southeast Asia’s inclusive and sustainable recovery. Other keynote speakers included Singapore Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah, Google Chief Sustainability Officer Kate Brandt, and Grab Cofounder Hooi Ling Tan. VP Ahmed M. Saeed and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor and ADB Alternate Governor Benjamin Diokno joined leaders from Care International and Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth for the CNBC panel, Building Back Better through Inclusive Solutions. Southeast Asia Department Director General Ramesh Subramaniam led the launch of a new ADB report, Southeast Asia Rising from the Pandemic, which details policies that help countries reboot their economies, generate jobs, and ensure a green recovery. Read the news release.

10 March 2022 President Asakawa reaffirms support for Sri Lanka’s recovery

President Masatsugu Asakawa met with Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and Minister of Finance and Chair of the ADB Board of Governors and ADB Governor Basil Rajapaksa on 10 March in Colombo, Sri Lanka. President Masa commended the government’s rapid vaccination drive, which will be critical for kick-starting economic activities. He also discussed the pressing issues facing the country including the importance of early restoration of fiscal and external balances while advancing structural reforms to accelerate green, resilient, and inclusive growth. President Asakawa also reviewed preparations for the second stage of the ADB Annual Meeting scheduled to be hosted by Sri Lanka in September. On his second day, President Asakawa visited several ADB-supported project sites, including the inauguration of the country’s first microgrid system and research lab at the University of Moratuwa, and met with ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission staff. Read: news release | interviewtweets

8 March 2022 ADB celebrates International Women’s Day

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 8 March 2022 opened the International Women’s Day celebration for ADB and reiterated the bank’s commitment to accelerating gender equality and womens’ empowerment. In his remarks, he underscored that women's knowledge, skills, and leadership are some of the most significant resources that the region has for addressing the climate crisis. Maldives’ Special Envoy for Climate Change Sabra Ibrahim Nordeen gave the keynote speech where she highlighted the urgency of closing the gap on gender equality to achieve more sustainable and resilient paths of development. See Gender Month events.




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. In August 2021, he was reelected for a 5-year term starting on 24 November 2021.

Under Mr. Asakawa’s leadership, ADB made significant contributions to the region’s COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery planning with a $20 billion comprehensive response package and $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility. He also played a key role in rolling out a series of new and innovative financing initiatives—including an Energy Transition Mechanism — to spur the region’s low-carbon development and elevated ADB’s 2030 cumulative climate financing ambition to $100 billion as ADB continues to focus on the battle against climate change.

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.