By Chino S. Leyco
The former Japanese vice finance minister for international affairs has been elected as the next president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
In a statement, the multilateral institution said yesterday that Masatsugu Asakawa, 61, was “unanimously” voted to succeed outgoing ADB President Takehiko Nakao on January 17 next year.
Asakawa, currently special Advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, will finish the unexpired term of Nakao that ends on November 23, 2021.
To recall, Nakao, 63, announced in September his intention not to finish his second term as president of ADB after serving as the Manila-based lender’s chief since April 2013.
South Korea Deputy Prime Minister and ADB Board of Governors Chair Hong Nam-Ki welcomed Asakawa’s election, noting his extensive and diverse experience in international finance and development.
Nam-Ki, who is also South Korea’s Minister of Economy and Finance, further said Asakawa’s expertise will serve ADB well in pursuing the bank’s vision of a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific.
“The ADB Board of Governors looks forward to working with Mr. Asakawa,” Nam-Ki said in a statement.
In October, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III had threw his support behind the nominee of Asakawa, noting the Japanese’s distinguished career and vast experience in global financial affairs.
Before his election, Asakawa has a career spanning close to four decades.
Asakawa held a range of senior positions at the Ministry of Finance of Japan, including Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, and gained diverse professional experience in development policy, foreign exchange markets, and international tax policy.
He also served as Finance Deputy for the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit and the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Fukuoka, Japan.
Furthermore, in the immediate aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, Asakawa took part in the first G20 Leaders’ Summit Meeting in his capacity as Executive Assistant to the then Prime Minister Taro Aso.
Asakawa has had also frequent engagement with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, including as Chair of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs from 2011 to 2016.
Asakawa served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo from 2012 to 2015 and at Saitama University from 2006 to 2009.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tokyo in 1981 and MPA from Princeton University in 1985.