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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.

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.

22 July 2021 Indonesia, ADB hold conference on climate change

The Indonesia Ministry of Finance and ADB on 22 July 2021 co-organized the 2021 International Climate Change Conference to discuss a just and affordable transition toward net zero carbon emissions. In his address, President Masatsugu Asakawa called for countries in Asia and the Pacific to take bold action to address climate change while ensuring fair and equitable economic growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He underlined the need for steadfast commitment and international cooperation to make the transition to net zero and achieve climate resilience. VP Bambang Susantono gave opening remarks for plenary 1 on the road to COP26 and beyond. Read the news release.

22 July 2021 ADB, other MDBs join US Treasury meeting on private capital for climate finance

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 22 July 2021 met with US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and heads and representatives of other multilateral development banks (MDBs) to discuss increasing MDB private capital mobilization and overall climate ambition. President Asakawa highlighted ADB’s efforts to mobilize private capital for climate finance in alignment with the goals of Strategy 2030 and the Paris Agreement. He noted ADB’s holistic approach to magnify impact by addressing upstream and downstream challenges to crowd in private climate finance. The President also cited ADB’s partnership with MDBs to jointly fund, and to deploy, tools to help with project preparation and decision-making with climate considerations. Private Sector Operations Department Director General Suzanne Gaboury also participated in the meeting. Attendees included US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, and heads and representatives of the African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank Group, and the World Bank Group. 

21 July 2021 ADB, UNHCR discuss strategic collaboration

President Masatsugu Asakawa and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, discussed on 21 July 2021 the current focus areas of each institution and the need for addressing forced displacement in the region. President Asakawa conveyed his appreciation regarding collaboration with UNHCR in Afghanistan and Bangladesh. They looked forward to greater future interagency relationship building through knowledge sharing and operations in the field. ADB in coordination with UNHCR is implementing the Bangladesh Emergency Assistance project. In Afghanistan, ADB is a member of the UNHCR-convened the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees, which promotes collaboration among humanitarian and development partners. 

8 July 2021 President Asakawa addresses 1st V20 Climate Vulnerables Finance Summit

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 8 July 2021 delivered the opening remarks at the 1st V20 Climate Vulnerables Finance Summit with the meeting of the V20 Ministers of Finance, inaugurated by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. President Asakawa highlighted the need to address the dual challenge of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and getting back on track to achieve the SDGs in a coordinated manner. He also called for raising ambition to tackle climate change and build climate and disaster resilience, and announced that ADB will target full alignment of sovereign operations with the Paris Agreement by 1 July 2023, and non-sovereign operations at 85% by 1 July 2023 and fully by 1 July 2025. The President also mentioned that as Asia and the Pacific region is expected to recover from the pandemic, ADB will significantly scale up investments in adaptation and resilience, targeting cumulative financing of $9 billion between 2019-2024. The V20 finance ministers launched the V20 Vision 2025 and detailed the V20 Climate Prosperity Recovery Agenda. Read the news release.




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.