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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.

25 October 2022 ADB, ROK sign MOU for 2023 ADB Annual Meeting; President Asakawa joins first World Bio Summit in Korea

President Masatsugu Asakawa and the Republic of Korea's (ROK) Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance and ADB Governor Kyungho Choo on 26 October signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the hosting of the 56th Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors to be held in Incheon from 2 to 5 May 2023. During his 24-26 October mission, along with ED Sangmin Ryu, MDG Woochong, and The Secretary Khan, he also met with the Financial Services Commission Chairperson Joo-hyun Kim and the Export-Import Bank of Korea Chairperson and President Hee-sung Yoon to discuss ongoing collaboration between ADB and the two institutions.

On 25 October, President Asakawa joined ROK President Yoon Suk-yeol, Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, Viet Nam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus, and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the first World Bio Summit. In his congratulatory message, President Asakawa highlighted ADB’s role in responding to the COVID-19 crisis and preparing countries to address future pandemics and underscored several key needs, including vaccine manufacturing, health workforce skilling, robust medical regulatory systems, and the ability to detect and stop future health threats.

15 October 2022 President Asakawa meets with US government officials, IFI heads, leaders; attends G20 meeting in Washington, DC

During a mission on 12-15 October to Washington, DC, President Masatsugu Asakawa met with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and discussed ADB’s innovative efforts around climate finance and ways to deepen US-ADB climate partnerships. He also met with US Assistant Secretary of Treasury for International Trade and Development Alexia Latortue and discussed climate finance, ADB’s Safeguard Policy update, and support for Afghanistan. The President participated in the G20 4th Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting (FMCGB) and held meetings with World Bank President David Malpass, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, COP26 President Alok Sharma, and heads of the multilateral and regional development banks. President Asakawa discussed ADB efforts to respond to global crises such as food security and climate change, with a focus on partnerships. He also held bilateral meetings with leaders from ADB's developing members including Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, and Pakistan. 

29 September 2022 ADB Board of Governors conclude the second stage of the Governors’ Business Session

The ADB Board of Governors concluded the second stage of the Business Session on 29 September 2022 and approved the remaining agenda items from the first stage last 5 May. For the first time since 2019, the Governors were able to meet in person and provide guidance and direction to the institution through Governors’ statements. President Masatsugu Asakawa provided the Management’s report to Governors on the progress since the previous meeting and shared Management’s key organizational messages with the Governors. Read the President's remarks. Watch the proceedings.

29 September 2022 Governors discuss multi-dimensional pathway to inclusive green growth

President Masatsugu Asakawa, along with the Governors from Finland, Japan, Philippines, and Samoa, discussed practical solutions to mitigate current challenges and chart a path for green and sustainable growth at the Governors' Seminar on 29 September 2022. The speakers discussed the multi-dimensional pathway to inclusive and sustainable green growth, requiring both institutional reforms and innovative financing for more resilient infrastructure. They noted the sustaining momentum on climate change, poverty, and gender requires new digital tools and technology. They emphasized a shift in mindset is needed to recognize that challenges are interrelated, and that short-term responses and strategic medium-term priorities are not mutually exclusive. Watch the recording.

29 September 2022 President Asakawa highlights ADB's innovative financing for energy transition at CNBC Debate

President Masatsugu Asakawa, International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol, Philippine Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Monalisa Dimalanta, and Avaada Group Vice Chairperson Sindoor Mittal joined the CNBC Debate on 29 September 2022. Panelists discussed approaches to enabling and financing a successful transition to low-carbon power, including the Energy Transition Mechanism, while ensuring the shift is inclusive and just for all. Watch the debate

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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. 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.