Japan as well as the US desire to promote the worldwide effort to respond to population and AIDS issues. The Global Issues Initiative, supported by both countries, was established in February 1994 for international support of population and AIDS. Japan, as part of its official development assistance, is the largest donor and plans to contribute between 1994 and 2000 about $3 billion. Japan also endorses the Program of Action recommended by the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in September 1994. Japan supports a comprehensive approach to the population issue which includes policies on basic health, education, and the status of women. Reproductive health is considered very important in addressing the population issue. There must be respect for human rights, improvement in the status of women, and promotion of women's participation in decision making. Japan's efforts toward this end have included the Global Initiative and distribution of a Maternal and Child Health Handbook, which includes reproductive health information for the adolescent, pregnant mother, and nurturing mother. Information is provided on child care, childbirth, and pregnancy and is directed to helping women make informed choices. Fertility and mortality decline in Japan has been accomplished through informed choice of women and changed attitudes and conduct of men. Governments and international organizations do not always deliver adequate services. The role of nongovernmental organizations in filling the gaps in service delivery is recognized by Japan as essential. Grassroots organizations complement existing structures and operations. Japan's endeavors to increase support for grassroots projects in its bilateral programs from planning stages through project implementation. Japan hopes that the UN Plan of Action will be adopted internationally, which would provide a supportive community for cooperative effort. The delegation to the ICPD was headed by Deputy Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs Yohei Kono, and this article provided a summary of his address to the ICPD.