The Japanese economy expanded by a real 1.9% in the January-March period from the previous quarter, the first upturn in one and a half years, the Economic Planning Agency (EPA) said Thursday. The EPA said in a preliminary report the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), or the total value of goods and services minus net income from overseas, grew at an annualized rate of 7.9% after adjustment for inflation and seasonal variations.
Japan remained the world's top economic aid donor in 1998
for the eighth consecutive year, providing a total of $10.68 billion in official development assistance, according to statistics released Friday by the Development Assistance Committee. ODA was up 14.2 percent from $9.36 billion in 1997, mainly due to a surge in aid to Asian countries hit by the region's economic crisis, the DAC said.
DAC is the aid organ of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a 29-member Paris-based group of industrialized nations. The 21 countries that belong to DAC dished out $51.59 billion in aid in 1998, up 6.8
percent from the previous year, according to the DAC report.
Fourteen states [nations] reported a rise in ODA in 1998. Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden remained the only countries to meet the United Nations target of disbursing aid equivalent to 0.7 percent of gross national product. Japan ranked 12th with a 0.28 percent ODA-GNP ratio, the report shows.
China was the top recipient of Japanese ODA in 1998, receiving $1.08 billion. Indonesia came in second and Thailand third. Japan disbursed $3.65 billion in governmental loans, $2.17 billion in grants-in-aid and $2.77 billion in technical assistance in 1998 to foreign countries. The remaining 2.09 billion yen was given to international aid bodies, according to a Foreign Ministry
The world's second largest aid donor is the United States, which extended $8.13 billion in ODA in 1998, followed by France and Germany, each offering a little less than $6 billion, according to the DAC report.