Assistant to the Administrator (AtA) of USAID’s Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning Michele Sumilas traveled to Tokyo and Seoul from September 12 to 15, 2022. She attended a series of events and meetings highlighting USAID’s strong partnership with both countries and our work to advance global development priorities while tackling today’s toughest challenges together.
In Japan, AtA Sumilas met with Mr. Kazuya Endo, the new Director General for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA); Mr. Hironori Shibata, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Senior Vice President; Mr. Akio Takahara, JICA Ogata Research Institute Executive Director; and representatives from the Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC), Medecins du Monde Japon, and other partners. Conversations explored opportunities for collaboration on critical topics ranging from aid effectiveness, donor cooperation, and mitigating global development losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. USAID and the Government of Japan also discussed the shared priority of increasing locally led development and Japan’s upcoming G7 leadership.
In the Republic of Korea, AtA Sumilas met with Mr. Won Do-yeon, Director General of the Development Cooperation Bureau in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Sumilas signed a new three-year development cooperation memorandum of understanding (MOU) and participated in a bilateral development policy dialogue. Together, USAID and MOFA solidified their global development partnership to address the world’s most challenging problems – including combating climate change in the Pacific Islands, enhancing cybersecurity across Southeast Asia, and strengthening health systems in Africa. The MOU builds upon six prior years of global development cooperation to foster prosperity, security, and freedom. The Republic of Korea is an especially strong partner because it leverages its insights as a former aid recipient and its current global standing as a leading democracy and top tn economy. AtA Sumilas also participated in a roundtable discussion on localization with representatives from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and conducted negotiations with K-Water on new bilateral cooperation efforts to improve water resource management in the Mekong region.
The Republic of Korea and Japan are staunch allies with the United States and partners in addressing global issues. Our cooperation enhances peace, prosperity, and security, especially in the Indo-Pacific region. All of these efforts deepen our relationships and advance global goals.