fbpx Masatsugu Asakawa | Asian Development Bank

How We're Organized

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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.

5 May 2021 Pacific developing member country Governors virtually meet with ADB Management

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 5 May 2021 joined the 31st Pacific DMC Governors and ADB Management meeting. In opening remarks, the President confirmed ADB support to help Pacific countries recover lost ground and come back stronger after the challenges of COVID-19. He outlined three key areas of ADB support to the Pacific to promote a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery: supporting countries to adapt to the impact of climate change; catalyzing investments by the private sector; and providing technical support to help governments identify and implement policy actions to maintain debt sustainability.

5 May 2021 President Asakawa meets with representatives of ADB's European members

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 5 May 2021 met with the representatives of Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. The meeting covered ADB’s response to COVID-19; support for a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery and the climate agenda; the future of the ADF; ADB’s role in Fragile and Conflict-affected Countries and Small Islands States; indebtedness as a result of the pandemic; implementation of ADB’s 2017 procurement reform; and the role of the European Representative Office. The representatives commended ADB for its swift and comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Asakawa expressed appreciation for the six countries’ support in facing the pandemic’s unprecedented challenges. 

4 May 2021 President Asakawa speaks with high-level panel on raising climate ambitions and momentum leading to COP26

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 4 May 2021, together with a high-level panel, underlined the importance of continuing to scale up climate action in 2021, particularly in adaptation and resilience, as countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. They called for raising ambitions and momentum leading up to the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP26), reaffirming commitments to pursuing low-carbon, climate-resilient development, international collaboration, mobilizing finance and technology for implementing the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. President Asakawa shared ADB's strategy and ongoing work supporting countries in enhancing their resilience and reaching climate goals, and the panelists provided their perspectives on enhancing ambitions at the global and national level. See the President's speech and the news releaseexplainer video, and video recording.

4 May 2021 ADB and the Republic of Korea to enhance cofinancing arrangements for sustainable Asia

President Masatsugu Asakawa and the Republic of Korea's (ROK) Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance, and ADB Governor Hong Nam-Ki on 4 May 2021 signed a memorandum of understanding whereby ROK earmarked $700 million in cofinancing with ADB, of which $350 million will finance projects under the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility. The signing ceremony was preceded by a bilateral meeting, during which the principals discussed progress of the ROK-ADB partnership, collaboration in support of the Asia Pacific Tax Hub, and preparation for the 2023 ADB Annual Meeting to be hosted by the Republic of Korea in Incheon. Read the news release.

3 May 2021 President Asakawa in conversation with Zeinab Badawi: Re-Imagining Asia and the Pacific in a Post-Pandemic World

In a groundbreaking Annual Meeting curtain-raiser event on 3 May 2021, President Masatsugu Asakawa in a virtual conversation with broadcaster Zeinab Badawi shared his experience and that of staff under lockdown in Manila. He underscored ADB's historic performance last year and staff well-being as his priority. The President also envisioned the region's recovery through domestic resource mobilization and international tax cooperation, regional cooperation, gender equality, and tackling climate change, plus the expansion of the bank's projects in health and education as key corporate priorities under Strategy 2030. Watch the video recording




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.