Asakawa assumes ADB’s presidency

Staff Correspondent

20 January, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Asakawa assumes ADB’s presidency

Noted Japanese scholar Masatsugu Asakawa has taken office as the new President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The 10th president of Manilla-based lender assumed office on Friday after Takehiko Nakao stepped down on January 16 this year, an ADB release said on Sunday.

In a career of nearly four decades, Asakawa has held a range of senior positions at the ministry of finance of Japan, including vice minister of finance for international affairs.

Through his career, he gained diverse professional experience in development policy, foreign exchange markets, and international tax policy.

“I am honoured to assume the role of ADB President and to begin working in close cooperation with our 68 members,” the ADB release quoted Asakawa as saying.

ADB has been a trusted partner of the region for more than half a century, supporting strong growth that has improved the lives of people across Asia and the Pacific, he noted. 

“I will strive to ensure ADB remains the preferred choice of its clients and partners,” he added.

Asakawa served as finance deputy for the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit and the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Fukuoka, Japan.

Besides, immediately after the global financial crisis, he 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 frequent engagement with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, including as chair of the committee on fiscal affairs from 2011 to 2016.

His extensive international experience includes service as chief advisor to ADB President Kimimasa Tarumizu between 1989 and 1992, during which period he spearheaded the creation of a new office in ADB focused on strategic planning.

“I am thrilled to be in Manila, where I will dedicate myself to ADB members in the region and beyond, while listening carefully to their voices. With the expertise of ADB staff, and by further enhancing its effectiveness and efficiency, I am confident that ADB can stand up to the challenges that the region faces,” he said. 

“I pledge to do my best to achieve a more prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific,” Asakawa said further.

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.


ADB was established in 1966. It is owned by 68 members, including 49 from the Asia-Pacific region.