Diplomatic Bluebook 2016

Chapter 2

Japan’s Foreign Policy that Takes a Panoramic Perspective of the World Map

1 Enhancement of Japan-Africa relations centered on the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process

(1) The TICAD process as a pillar of Japan’s diplomacy toward Africa

TICAD is an international forum for African development, co-organized by the UN, UNDP, the World Bank and the African Union Commission (AUC) under the leadership of Japan. TICAD was launched in 1993, under the basic philosophy of “ownership (self-help efforts)” of Africa and “partnership” with the international community; including Japan.

The past TICAD Summit meetings were convened in Japan once in every five years, however, Prime Minister Abe announced in September 2014 that the next TICAD Summit Meeting would be held in Africa, responding to the request from the African side, from the standpoint of focusing on Africa’s “ownership,” and that the Summit would be convened alternately in Japan and Africa in the future. It was subsequently decided that TICAD VI would be held in Kenya in August 2016.

TICAD VI, will address challenges and counter-measures such as vulnerability of the health system, expansion of violent extremism and fall in international resource prices, which have emerged after the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) in June 2013. Furthermore, TICAD VI is expected to further deepen the TICAD process and develop Japan-Africa relations into a new stage as the first TICAD to be held in Africa.

Prime Minister Abe attending the 3rd Japan-RECs Summit (September 27, New York, U.S.; Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)Prime Minister Abe attending the 3rd Japan-RECs Summit (September 27, New York, U.S.; Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
Outline of TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development)
Regional Economic Communities (RECs)

(2) Enhancement of the Japan-Africa relations through cooperation among various stakeholders

In 2015, the Government of Japan deepened its collaboration with various stakeholders in its preparation for TICAD VI in 2016. In Japan, at the Ministerial Meeting on Economic Strategy for Africa, established under the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary following Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Africa in 2014, a whole government examined the way to take specific measures to promote various agenda such as comprehensive regional development in Africa in order to capture Africa’s economic growth and use it for Japan’s economic growth.

Furthermore, the TICAD VI Public-Private Roundtable Meeting was established between the government and the private sector, for which Foreign Minister Kishida and three representatives from the private sector serve as co-chairs. The first meeting was held in October. Considering that close cooperation between public and private sectors is required to strengthen the economic relations with Africa, the participants shared information and exchanged views on African business.

In September, Prime Minister Abe hosted the 3rd Japan-African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) Summit Roundtable in New York, U.S. and exchanged views with African countries on expected achievements at TICAD VI and desirable ways of cooperation between TICAD and the RECs. The leaders of African countries expressed their appreciation and gratitude for Japan’s steady implementation of its commitments launched at TICAD V.

In October, Prime Minister Manuel Valls of France visited Japan for the first time, and met with Prime Minister Abe. The two leaders took the opportunity to issue a “France-Japanese plan for sustainable development, health and security in Africa,” and examined the way to develop effective policies toward Africa in cooperation with third countries, including the enhancement of cooperation between Japan and France in Africa.