Japan-Republic of South Africa Relations

June 29, 2019

On June 29, commencing at about 9:15 a.m. for approximately 15 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, who is visiting Japan to attend the G20 Osaka Summit. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. At the beginning, Prime Minister Abe congratulated President Ramaphosa on his re-election and stated “Japan would like to enhance further cooperatioon with South Africa towards the success of the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) in August, which is focusing on promoting business relations between Japan and Africa.” In response, President Ramaphosa appreciated Prime Minister Abe for his congratulatory remarks and stated that he seeks to further enhance bilateral relations, including in the areas of trade and investment. He also noted that he would attend TICAD7 and cooperate towards its success.

President Ramaphosa also expressed his appreciation to Japan's cooperation in human resource development of Africa through education, technical assistance and training, as exemplified in ABE Initiative. Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan will continue its support in the area of training artisans in South Africa.

Furthermore, President Ramaphosa said that he values business activities by Japanese companies in South Africa and expects more investment from Japan’s private sector as South Africa is promoting environment that are conducive to business activities. Prime Minister Abe responded by saying that he recognizes the efforts to promote business environment under the leadership of President Ramaphosa.

2. The two leaders exchanged views on agenda items for the G20 Osaka Summit, including on data flows and electronic commerce. Prime Minister Abe stated, “The ‘Osaka Track’ is an open process that seeks to advance the creation of international rules on data flows and electronic commerce, and I hope that South Africa will join the ‘Osaka Track’ and work together with us.” As to the issue of marine plastic litter, Prime Minister Abe stated, “Japan has decided to extend assistance to promote biodegradable plastics in South Africa in cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).” President Ramaphosa expressed his expectations for the outcome of G20 initiatives and both leaders confirmed that they will cooperate towards the success of the G20 Osaka Summit.

3. Furthermore, the two leaders exchanged views on cooperation in the international arena, including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform, and also on the issue of North Korea.

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