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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.

27 September 2022 President Asakawa meets with CSOs

President Masatugu Asakawa in the morning of 27 September 2022 met virtually with representatives of civil society organizations, including nongovernment organizations as part of the Annual Meetings civil society program. The meeting discussed ADB’s investments in climate change, social inclusion, and policies such as safeguard and energy policy, including ways to further enhance ADB’s cooperation with CSOs. Watch the session recording.

26 September 2022 President's 2022 Annual Meeting kick-off conversation addresses current crises, ADB's way forward

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 26 September 2022 opened the 55th ADB Annual Meeting with an engaging conversation with international journalist, Zeinab Badawi. The President discussed ADB’s COVID-19 response and shared his perspectives on the Asian economy, the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the food and energy crises. He also outlined his ideas for change for Asia and the Pacific region – from increasing our climate financing to the bank’s innovative Energy Transition Mechanism to domestic resource mobilization and international tax cooperation, and regional cooperation. Watch the session recording.

4 August 2022 President Asakawa meets Japan Prime Minister, ministers of finance and economic revitalization

President Masatsugu Asakawa and Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on 4 August 2022, and Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Financial Services and ADB Governor Shunichi Suzuki on 2 August discussed the economic outlook and challenges of Asia and the Pacific region. They agreed that urgent climate action is necessary for the region to move toward a green, inclusive, and resilient recovery, and the role of innovative climate financing such as the Energy Transition Mechanism in making this happen. On 28 July, President Asakawa talked with Daishiro Yamagiwa, Minister of Economic Revitalization, about the ever-present threat of climate change to future growth, and ADB’s role as the region’s climate bank. In all the meetings, President Asakawa expressed deep appreciation for Japan’s generous support to ADB, particularly the initiatives that support a green, inclusive, and resilient recovery, and the development of Asia and the Pacific. PM Kishida, Governor Suzuki, and Minister Yamagiwa thanked ADB under President Asakawa for its leadership in tackling the region’s pressing challenges.

29 July 2022 President Asakawa speaks on developing Asia’s economic outlook and ADB's climate actions

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 29 July 2022 spoke at a hybrid press briefing hosted by the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo. The President gave an overview of the economic outlook for developing Asia, elaborating on the impacts of COVID-19, Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the US monetary tightening. He explained ADB's response to the pandemic and discussed its priorities in the post-pandemic world, in particular highlighting efforts as Asia and the Pacific's Climate Bank to combat climate change, including ADB’s new energy policy and Energy Transition Mechanism. About 70 Tokyo-based journalists and club members participated in the press briefing.

12 July 2022 President Asakawa delivers keynote address at Sydney Energy Forum

The forum on 12-13 July 2022 brought together business leaders, technology and finance experts, and high-level government officials to share insights into securing clean energy transition for the Indo-Pacific region. President Masatsugu Asakawa, in his keynote address, highlighted that through collective, urgent action, and at the scale needed, we can solve the climate and energy crises. He held meetings with Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen, Germany's State Secretary Jörg Kukies, and Fortescue Future Industries Chair Andrew Forrest. President Asakawa also met with International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol and discussed the work ADB and IEA are doing together to accelerate the energy transition across Asia and the Pacific. ADB Executive Director Tony McDonald joined the mission to facilitate the forum participation and various meetings.

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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.