On the Eve of the Creation of Japan Parliamentarians’ Federation for Population (JPFP)

Dr. Osamu Kusumoto
Secretary General/Executive Director
Asian Population and Development Association (APDA)
Secretariat of Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP)

On the Eve of the Creation of Japan Parliamentarians’ Federation for Population:
General Draper and parliamentarians’ activities on Population and Development
Background of Mr. Akio Matsumura’s article
Japan Parliamentarians’ Federation for Population (JPFP) was established as the world’s first non-partisan parliamentarians group on population and sustainable development in 1974 It is not well known that General Draper who was American Retired General of Army played a key role in creating the JPFP. Nor is it widely known that General Draper is a great benefactor of Japanese recovery from World war II.

William H. Draper was a famous banker before the war, and he was the key figure in the 180-degree shift of U.S. policy for Japan. As the Under Secretary of the Army, General Draper submitted the report to the U.S. Government in 1948 in favor of redirection of the Occupation policy by General Douglas MacArthur, which had been repressive and crippling Japan’s economic recovery.

In fact, General Draper’s plan laid the basis of economic growth of Japan after World War II. Some of his contributions include: his lobbying the U.S. Congress for foreign aid for Japan; his appointment of Joseph Morrell Dodge as an economic advisor to Japanese economic recovery; and fixing the exchange rate at 360 Japanese yen per of US dollar. Such General Draper’s plans helped Japan leap from a developing to a developed economy. Such contributions made by General Draper are not adequately recognized or appreciated by Japanese people.

General Draper is also a benefactor of parliamentarians’ activities on population and development. Under the initiatives of General Draper, former Prime Ministers Nobusuke Kishi and Takeo Fukuda and their fellow parliamentarians established the JPFP, with the aim of stabilizing population. Addressing population issues is the key to achieving a sustainable society and parliamentarians, as representatives of people, should play a catalyst role between people and the government since the measures should not be forced upon the people.

It was JPFP that took the initiative in promoting this parliamentary movement and creating parliamentary groups worldwide. In 1982, Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) was established, which was followed by the creation of Inter American Parliamentarians Group on Population and Development (IAPG) and Global Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (GCPPD).

ICPD in 1994 saw a new opportunity to create other regional forum under the leadership of Japanese parliamentarians; namely, Forum of Africa and Arab parliamentarians on Population and Development (FAAPPD) and EPF (European Parliamentary Forum). Today every region of the world has its parliamentary forum on population and development, linked by international networking and actively engaged in these issues.

Mr. Akio Matsumura, who was the first Executive Director of AFPPD and GCPPD, contributed an article on General Draper’s contribution to the creation of JPFP. General Draper conceived a plan of incorporating peace management training into the regular army training, which was a very innovative and predecessor of the UN Peacekeeping forces. Mr. Akio Matsumura currently dedicates his life to creating peace through the dialogue among religious leaders and parliamentarians.
Today we enjoy the fruits of the efforts of those who had contributed towards the parliamentary activities dealing with population and development issues. To renew our commitment to address these issues and achive sustainable development for the benefit of future generations, the re-start of the GCPPD was unanimously agreed at the 25th Asian Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Population and Development that was organized by APDA this May.

On the occasion of their 35th anniversary of JPFP, parliamentarians’ activities on population and development look at a new horizon. Now it is the right time to reaffirm the foundation’sguiding principles and commitments.

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