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Naoko Ishii
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Naoko Ishii

Deputy Vice Minister
Ministry of Finance (MOF)


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About Naoko Ishii

Since September 2010, Naoko Ishii has served as Deputy Vice Minister with Japan’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) in Tokyo. In this capacity, Naoko Ishii directly assists the Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, overseeing international issues of development, the environment, and climate change. Naoko Ishii notably represents Japan on the Transitional Committee for the design of the Green Climate Fund, an initiative of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

From 2006 to 2010, Naoko Ishii designed a country-assistance strategy as the World Bank’s Country Director for Sri Lanka. Stationed in Colombo, she coordinated donor efforts among a coalition of development partners that included nongovernmental organizations, multilateral and bilateral donors, academics, and foundations. Ishii’s efforts allowed sustained development projects and peace efforts to emerge despite a backdrop of political discord and ethnic conflict.

Prior to her work in Sri Lanka, Naoko Ishii acted as Director of the Office of Development Finance within the MOF’s International Bureau. Her areas of oversight included the implementation, allocation, and management of Japanese bilateral development assistance. With a scope of approximately $7 billion, the commitment encompassed 40 loans to developing countries around the world. Naoko Ishii managed assistance strategies targeting Asian countries along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and enhanced coordination with multilateral development banks and other donors. Significantly, she led 2005 tripartite policy discussions concerning Cambodia and Laos among Japan, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. She also designed cofinancing strategies for Vietnam and Indonesia with the World Bank.

Naoko Ishii’s professional experience with the MOF extends back to 1981. She served as a Project Manger with the Harvard Institute for International Development from 1996 to 1997, managing two research projects under the guidance of Dr. Jeffrey Sachs. One project examined industrial policy in Vietnam, while the other focused on Mongolia’s cashmere industry, both resulting in chapters in Harvard University publications.

A noted author, Naoko Ishii most recently delivered the award-winning Empirical Analysis on Modern Economic Growth: Institutions Critical to Sustainable Economic Growth (Nihon Keizai Shinbun-sha, 2003). She also wrote The Economics of Macroeconomic Policy Coordination (Nihon Keizai Shinbun-sha, 1990), which earned the Suntory Academic Prize. Naoko Ishii’s first book, The U.S.-Japan Economic Controversy (TBS Buritanika, 1988), drew on her experience with the MOF and Japan’s National Tax Administration, where she engaged in extensive U.S.-Japan negotiations.

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