Change and innovation in Japan’s aid policy necessarily involve Asia. It is to Asia that the bulk of Japan’s aid has flowed historically, and in Asia that the main recipients of Japanese aid are still situated. Although the statistics show that today Asia receives a smaller proportion of Japanese bilateral ODA than it did even ten years ago, the focus of aid policy remains on Asia, the region seen in the 1950s and still in the 1990s as the ‘natural’ partner in Japanese efforts to assist economic development. It is unlikely that Asia will be replaced as the main target of aid flows, despite the tendency to look more to other regions with desperate development needs, and to those countries with lower per capita incomes than many Asian recipients.