Japan joined the World Bank in August 1952, the year after the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Starting in 1953, a number of projects were implemented in Japan with World Bank loans for the development of the nation’s economic foundation. Read More »
Japan joined the World Bank in August 1952, the year after the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Starting in 1953, a number of projects were implemented in Japan with World Bank loans for the development of the nation’s economic foundation, such as electric power generation, basic industries development, transportation, water, and infrastructure.
Japan hosted the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund for the first time in 1964, a symbolic year that clearly showed Japan’s post-war reconstruction and return to the international community. In the same year, the Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet train) Line started operation (loan amount: USD 80 million), and the Tokyo Olympics were held. In 1966, Japan signed its final World Bank loan, and graduated from borrower status in the following year.
Japan strengthened its status as a creditor in the 1970s, and became the second-largest shareholder of the World Bank in 1984, gaining a greater voice as one of the most important partners.
In 2012, moving toward recovery and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan again became the hosting nation for the Annual Meetings. As part of intellectual contributions from Japan to the world, topics of the Meetings include lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and Global Health based on Japan’s experience of universal health insurance for more than 50 years.
Japan is now the second largest supplier of capital to the World Bank and an important partner to the World Bank in many fields. Japan is also one of the largest donors to trust funds that help the World Bank and its partners support the achievement of development results at global, regional, and country levels. These trust funds include:
Japan also contributes to advancement of human resources in developing countries through the World Bank Institute (WBI). Initiatives include the Scholarships Program, and joint research on Learning from Mega Disaster) and on Universal Health Coverage.
Last Updated: Aug 26, 2013
The World Bank Group operates under the authority of its Board of Governors consisting of each member country’s governor (usually the minister of finance or the head of the country’s central bank). The Boards of the World Bank Group and the IMF meet once a year at the Annual Meetings.
The Board of Governors delegates responsibility to the Board of Executive Directors for overall operation of the World Bank. The 25 Executive Directors work on site at the Washington, DC, headquarters. Five of them are appointed by the five largest shareholders (Japan is the second after the United States, followed by Germany, France, and the United Kingdom), while others are elected by other member countries every two years. Voting power in the World Bank is determined by a member’s share in the Bank’s capital stock, not a single vote for a single country.
The World Bank Group President is elected by the Board of Executive Directors and serves for a five-year term, which can be renewed.
Shares and Voting Power
The World Bank Group has a weighted system of voting. All members of the Bank receive votes consisting of share votes (one vote for each share of the Bank's capital stock held by the member) plus basic votes (calculated so that the sum of all basic votes is equal to 5.55% of the sum of basic votes and share votes for all members). The voting power distribution differs from agency to agency within the World Bank Group.