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Jakarta Post

Masatsugu Asakawa elected ADB president

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, December 3, 2019   /   12:12 pm
Masatsugu Asakawa elected ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa, currently special advisor to Japan’s prime minister and finance minister, was unanimously elected on Monday to be the president of the Asian Development Bank. (Reuters/Reuters)

Masatsugu Asakawa was elected to be president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) by its board of governors in Manila, the Philippines.

Asakawa, who is currently special advisor to Japan’s prime minister and finance minister, was unanimously elected by the bank’s board of governors on Monday. He is to assume office as the ADB's 10th president on Jan. 17.

Asakawa would succeed Takehiro Nakao, who is to cease being ADB president in January, although his term was not supposed to finish until November 2021. Asakawa is expected to finish his predecessor's term.

"Masatsugu's extensive and diverse experience in international finance and development will serve ADB well in pursuing its vision of a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Asia and Pacific,” said Korea's deputy prime minister and economy and finance ministry, who also serves as the chair of the ADB board of governors, Hong Nam-Ki.

"The ADB board of governors looks forward to working with Mr. Masatsugu," he added.

In a career spanning four decades, Masatsugu has held a number of senior positions at Japan's finance ministry, including as the vice minister or finance for international affairs. Throughout his time in the ministry, Masatsugu gained experience in developing national policies, supervising foreign exchange markets and managing international tax policies.

Furthermore, he also served as the finance deputy at the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit and the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Fukuoka, Japan. Also, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008, Masatsugu served as the executive assistant to then prime minister Taro Aso.

In addition, Masatsugu frequently engaged with the Organization for Economic, Cooperation, and Development (OECD) as the Chair for OECD'S Fiscal Affairs Committee from 2011 to 2016.

Masatsugu obtained his Bachelor's of arts from the University of Tokyo in 1981 and a Master's of public administration from Princeton University in 1985. In addition, he also served as a visiting professor at his alma mater, the University of Tokyo, from 2012 to 2015 and at Saitama University from 2006 to 2009.

The bank had committed to new loans and grants amounting to US$21.6 billion as of 2018. Established in 1966, the ADB is currently owned by 68 members, of which 49 are based in Asia. (bry)