Diplomatic Bluebook 2019

Chapter 2

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

3 Southern Africa

(1) Angola

Since the inauguration of President Lourenço in 2017, the Government of Angola has been actively promoting economic reforms including recovery of international credibility, strengthening of fiscal discipline, and soundness of the financial system. Angola is also working on diversifying and stabilizing the economy to depart from the existing economic structure that relies on abundant natural resources.

During his visit to Japan to attend the TICAD Ministerial Meeting in October 2018, Japan-Angola foreign ministers' meeting was held between Minister of External Relations Augusto and Foreign Minister Kono.

(2) Zambia

Zambia has abundant mineral resources and has been working to diversify its economy in recent years to break away from its monoculture economy dependent on minerals. In July, Japan dispatched the Public-Private Sector Joint Mission for Promoting Trade and Investment in Africa, headed by Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Manabu Horii, to Zambia. During his visit to Japan to attend the TICAD Ministerial Meeting in October, Minister of Foreign Affairs Malanji held a foreign ministers' meeting with Foreign Minister Kono. The second round of negotiations of a bilateral Investment Treaty were held in December.

Furthermore, the first official bilateral visit in six years was realized in December. President Lungu visited Japan on an official working visit and held a Japan-Zambia summit meeting. During his visit to Japan, the two countries issued a joint statement. His visit also included a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Abe, a courtesy call from Foreign Minister Kono, and participation in the Zambia-Japan Business Forum, among other events. This visit is expected to further deepen the bilateral relationship that has been developed up to now.

Japan-Zambia Summit Meeting (December 19, Tokyo; Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)Japan-Zambia Summit Meeting (December 19, Tokyo; Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

(3) Zimbabwe

President Mugabe, who had held power since Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, resigned in November 2017. Former Vice-President Mnangagwa was subsequently inaugurated as president in Zimbabwe, and the first general election under the new administration was held in July. Although the election itself was conducted in a relatively peaceful manner, security forces clashed with protesting opposition supporters several days after the election, which resulted in casualties.

Taking every occasion including Vice President Mohadi's visit to Japan as a presidential envoy in March and Special Envoy of the Prime Minister Kazunori Tanaka's (member of the House of Representatives) attendance at the inauguration ceremony of President Mnangagwa in August, Japan has been continuously emphasizing directly to government officials, including the president, about the importance of promoting democracy and economic development in Zimbabwe. Japan expects that President Mnangagwa and his administration will promote democracy and steadily implement economic reforms. Furthermore, Special Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Comberbach attended the TICAD Ministerial Meeting in October and also held a meeting with Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Tsuji.

(4) South Africa

South Africa is the only African country in the G20. It continues to garner attention from overseas companies including Japanese companies as a major economic power in Africa and as a base from which to carry out business expansion. In February, former President Zuma resigned during his term and was succeeded by Vice President Ramaphosa.

President Ramopasa attended the Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum held in Johannesburg in May where he delivered a keynote speech. The bilateral economic relationship between the two countries continues to be active, including a visit to Japan by an investment mission in September led by a presidential envoy.

In February, Prime Minister Abe and President Ramaphosa held a telephone talk. During the G20 foreign ministers' meeting in May, Foreign Minister Kono and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Sisulu held a foregin ministers' meeting. The two countries affirmed progress in developing cordial relations through such events.

(5) Mozambique

Mozambique is rich in natural resources especially in the Nacala Corridor region and the private sector continues to show high interest to Mozambique. Several commemorative ceremonies of Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects, including the completion ceremony of the Maputo Gas Fired Combined Cycle Power Plant in August 2018 and the construction ceremony of the Nacala Port Development Project in October, were held, which represent the relationship between the two countries. Japan also continues to receive a number of high-level visits from Mozambique. President of the National Assembly Macamo visited Japan in February and had talks with Prime Minister Abe and the Speakers of Houses of Representatives and Councillors. In October, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Pacheco attended the TICAD Ministerial Meeting, and also held a foreign ministers' meeting.

(6) Botswana

Vice President Masisi took the presidency in Botswana in April following the expiration of former President Khama's term of office. Special Envoy of the Prime Minister Yoshitaka Shindo (member of the House of Representatives) attended the inauguration ceremony of President Masisi, and reaffirmed the friendly relationship with Botswana, which was the first country in Africa to adopt Japan's digital terrestrial broadcasting (ISDB-T) system in 2013.

The Government of Botswana, an upper-middle income country, emphasizes breaking away from an economy that relies on diamonds and diversifying its industries. Japan supports Botswana's such efforts through technical assistance, human resources exchange, and other activities, and also continues to cooperate with Botswana in the international arena on matters such as the reform of the UN Security Council. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dow attended the TICAD Ministerial Meeting in October, and also held a Japan-Botswana foreign ministers' meeting.