Japan-Kenya Relations

February 8, 2024
Two leaders who shake hands with a smile facing straight at a camera (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
Two leaders who have a talk after having a seat at a table (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
Photo of Japan-Kenya Summit Joint Press Conference (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

On February 8, commencing at 6:37 p.m. for approximately 45 minutes, Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio held a Japan-Kenya summit meeting with H. E. Dr. William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya, who paid an Official Visit to Japan. Following the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the exchange of cooperation documents and held a joint press occasion. After that, commencing at 7:51 p.m. for approximately 60 minutes, Prime Minister and his spouse hosted a dinner with President Ruto and his spouse. The overview is as follows.

1. Introduction

Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan would like to further strengthen bilateral relations with Kenya, an important like-minded country that shares fundamental values and principles such as “rule of law”, and to work closely to promote the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)” and maintain and enhance a free and open international order based on the rule of law.
In response, President Ruto expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome for his visit and stated that he would like to further strengthen bilateral relations and co-operation in the international arena.

2. Bilateral Relations

  1. Prime Minister Kishida welcomed the exchange of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to promote Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the infrastructure sector, the MoC to strengthen cooperation in the field of ICT, and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation including Samurai Bonds between the National Treasury and Economic Planning of the Republic of Kenya and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI). The two leaders concurred in working together to further strengthen economic relations between the two countries.
  2. Prime Minister Kishida also stated that Kenya is an important partner at the heart of the FOIP’s vision, and the two leaders welcomed the exchange of the Statement of Intent to establish cooperation in the field of defense, the first of its kind for Japan with an African country, and concurred in further strengthening cooperation in the field of defense andcontributing together towards peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and Africa.

3. Cooperation in the International Arena

  1. The two leaders shared their view on the importance of the need to uphold the principles of international order and ensure peace and stability, without tolerating any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force. The two leaders also concurred in continuing to work closely to ensure food security in Africa.
  2. The two leaders also shared their view on the importance of rules-based, transparent and fair development finance and the importance of compliance with international rules and standards by all creditor countries.
  3. Furthermore, Prime Minister Kishida announced new cooperation for the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), which is a center of excellence for research on infectious diseases in Africa and Japan has been supporting for approximately half a century through efforts of industry, government and academiaas well as new cooperation for capacity building in the production of medical oxygen for East Africa.The two leaders then concurred in developing a “co-creation” relationship between the two countriesincluding contributing to global health with Kenya as a hub.
  4. The two leaders also discussed regional and international affairs, including strengthening the functions of the United Nations including Security Council reform, the situation in East Asia including the response to North Korea, and the situation of Horn of Africa and Sudan. The two leadersconfirmed that both countries would continue to work closely.

4. Document Exchange Ceremony and Joint Press Occasion

  1. In the presence of the two leaders, the following documents in relation to bilateral cooperation were exchanged.
    • (A) E/N on the Project for Strengthening Research Capacity of Kenya Medical Research Institute
    • (B) Memorandum of Cooperation between Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan and Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy of the Republic of Kenya on Cooperation in the Field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
    • (C) Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan and the Ministry of Roads and Transport of the Republic of Kenya on Cooperation in Development of the Public Private Partnership(PPP) Projects in Kenya
    • (D) Statement of Intent on Defense Cooperation and Exchanges between the Ministry of Defense of Japan and the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kenya
  2. After the document exchange ceremony, the two leaders held a joint press occasion.

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