Japan-South Africa Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On October 13, commencing at 6:10 p.m., Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held bilateral talks and a working dinner with the Honourable Dr. Naledi PANDOR, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, who is visiting Japan, for approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. The overview is as follows.
- Opening Remarks
Minister Hayashi welcomed Minister Pandor’s first visit to Japan in approximately three years and stated that it is highly significant and a great pleasure to have held the first Japan-South Africa Partnership Forum in nine years with South Africa, which is a G20 member and a country in which approximately 160 Japanese companies are operating, the most in Africa. He also expressed his intention to deepen cooperation with South Africa by following up on the outcome of the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8), in light of the many challenges, such as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and North Korea’s launches of ballistic missiles at an unprecedented frequency, and growing uncertainty faced by the international community. In addition, Minister Hayashi expressed his gratitude once again for the attendance of the Honourable Ms. Lindiwe Nonceba Sisulu, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of South Africa, at the State Funeral for former Prime Minister Abe and her words of condolence.
In response, Minister Pandor expressed her pleasure to be realizing her visit to Japan, which had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and her intention to use this as an opportunity to steadily develop bilateral relations following on from TICAD 8. Minister Pandor also expressed her condolences once again on the passing of former Prime Minister Abe.
- Bilateral Relations
The two ministers affirmed that meaningful bilateral discussions were held in each session of the Japan-South Africa Partnership Forum. (Reference)
- (1)Trade, investment, and energy
Both ministers affirmed that, under the Green Growth Initiative with Africa announced by Japan at TICAD 8, concrete cooperation is being advanced, and that Japan and South Africa will provide further support for cooperation among both countries’ businesses in fields such as renewable energy and hydrogen.
In addition, Minister Hayashi expressed Japan’s intention to support investment by Japanese businesses, while promoting cooperation aimed at the joint development of sustainable mineral resources with South Africa. Minister Pandor expressed South Africa’s intention to prepare a suitable business environment for attracting investment from Japanese businesses.
- (2)Science and technology
While mentioning her experience serving as Minister of Science and Technology, Minister Pandor stated that South Africa has gained a great deal of cooperation with Japan in the field of science and technology and intends to expand such cooperation with Japan.
Moreover, both ministers confirmed the ongoing joint research between Japan and South Africa in green fields and affirmed the two countries’ intention to continue their coordination.
- (3)Human resources development
Minister Hayashi stated that Japan will help realize a resilient Africa that Africa itself aims to achieve, with approaches focusing on “people,” as “a partner growing together with Africa,” as announced at TICAD 8 in August.
Minister Pandor expressed her gratitude for Japan’s support for South Africa, including the ABE Initiative.
Both ministers affirmed that “people” will be the very foundation of economic growth, and that Japan and South Africa will advance further cooperation in the field of human resources development.
- International and Regional Affairs
i. Minister Hayashi stated that the purported “referenda” in Ukraine and the purported “incorporation” of these regions by Russia, as well as the attacks on various parts of Ukraine from October 10 onwards, infringe upon Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, constitute a violation of international law, and shall never be recognized. Minister Pandor stated that it is important for both countries to cooperate with each other so that the situation in Ukraine does not lead to a food and energy crises in Africa. The two ministers shared the view to work together towards the early resolution of the conflict.
ii. Minister Hayashi explained, with regard to North Korea, that the launches of ballistic missiles at the extremely high frequency of seven times in the short period of time since the end of September, including the launch of a ballistic missile over Japan on October 4, are a serious and imminent threat to the national security of Japan and a clear and serious challenge to the international community, and Minister Pandor expressed her deep concern about the situation. The two ministers shared the view to coordinate their response to North Korea, including the nuclear and missile issues, as well as the abductions issue.
iii Minister Hayashi declared Japan’s strong opposition to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas.
iv. Minister Hayashi stated, in relation to the importance of transparent and fair development finance, that all creditor countries must respect international rules and standards. Both ministers confirmed the importance of this issue and shared the view to discuss it in future as well.
v. In addition, the two ministers exchanged views on a free and open Indo-Pacific, disarmament and non-proliferation, and the strengthening of the functions of the United Nations, including Security Council reform, among other matters, and confirmed that they will strengthen coordination between the two countries.
Intergovernmental consultations established upon the agreement of the leaders of Japan and South Africa in April 1998. The Forum involves discussions aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperative relations, through the holding of a political session with foreign-minister-level participation from both countries, as well as working-level sessions on themes such as trade and investment, development, and science and technology.