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.

8 July 2020 ADB, Niue discuss support for COVID-19 response

President Masatsugu Asakawa had a phone conversation with the Premier of Niue Dalton Tagelagi on 8 July 2020 and reaffirmed ADB's support to Niue that became the newest, 68th member of ADB in March 2019. President Asakawa and Premier Tagelagi discussed how ADB can best support the country as it mitigates the impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While there is no confirmed case yet, ADB provided a technical assistance grant for Niue to procure medical supplies and personal protective equipment through UNICEF to better brace for the potential spread of COVID-19. See news release

1 July 2020 President Asakawa reaffirms support for Maldives’ efforts to mitigate impacts of COVID-19

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 1 July 2020 had a virtual meeting with Maldives Finance Minister and ADB Governor Ibrahim Ameer to discuss ADB’s ongoing support for the Maldives government’s health, economic, and social response measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, and ADB’s planned assistance to the country. The President commended the government’s recent fiscal reform measures and its commitment to macroeconomic stability, sustained growth, and debt consolidation. Read the news release.

16 June 2020 15th Asia Clean Energy Forum kicks off online

At the 15th Asia Clean Energy Forum held online President Masatsugu Asakawa in a speech delivered on 16 June 2020 reiterated the potential for greater investment in clean energy infrastructure to contribute to the region’s recovery from the pandemic and make economies more resilient against future shocks. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency in a keynote speech stressed the importance of addressing climate change and air pollution in the recovery. Read the news release.

8 June 2020 President Asakawa, IEA Executive Director discuss scaling up collaboration

President Masatsugu Asakawa and International Energy Agency's Executive Director Fatih Birol held a videoconference on 8 June 2020 to discuss scaling up collaboration and renewing a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations. The two leaders discussed potential collaboration in areas such as boosting the resilience of energy systems to better cope with extreme weather resulting from climate change and pandemic-induced supply interruptions. Mr. Birol will deliver the keynote speech at next week’s Asia Clean Energy Forum 2020 co-hosted by ADB. Read the news release.

3 June 2020 President Asakawa discusses cooperation with UN ESCAP

President Masatsugu Asakawa in a call with ESCAP Executive Secretary Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana on 3 June 2020 discussed synergies between the two organizations in combining knowledge, networks, and finance to help developing Asia and Pacific address health, social, and economic crises caused by COVID-19. Beyond COVID-19, President Asakawa said that ADB is looking to continue collaboration on SDGs and trade facilitation and expand cooperation with ESCAP on other areas such as ocean pollution. 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.

President in the News