The President of the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Mr Jacob Zuma, will undertake a visit to Japan to participate in the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-V) Summit to be held in Yokohama, Japan on 01-03 June 2013. This will be followed by a Working Visit on 04 June 2013.
President Zuma will be accompanied by a delegation of Cabinet Ministers including Ms M Nkoana-Mashabane; Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr MCJ van Schalkwyk; Minister of Tourism; Dr R Davies; Minister of Trade and Industry; Mr C Chabane; Minister in the Presidency, Mr Nhlanhla Nene, Deputy Minister of Finance, and Ms Hlengiwe Mkhize, Deputy Minister for Economic Development
TICAD is a strategic partnership between Africa and Japan that was launched in 1993, with a view to serve as a consultative forum for development assistance to Africa. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the TICAD Process and this coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the OAU/AU
The TICAD-V Summit will be held under the theme, “Hand in Hand with a Dynamic Africa”, a theme that symbolizes the growing economic statute of Africa in the global economy.
South Africa’s participation in the upcoming TICAD meetings is premised on the AU strategic objective of ensuring that all global partnerships with Africa should support the African development priorities, while also strengthening Africa’s participation in global affairs as an equal partner. At this Summit, the African Heads of State and Government, Japan and the TICAD Partners will adopt the TICAD-V Declaration, as well as its five-year Action Plan that will guide the strategic cooperation between Africa and Japan between 2013 -2017.
With regard to bilateral relations, in 2010 South Africa and Japan celebrated 100 years of relations. In 2010, relations between the two countries were elevated to a Strategic Co-operative Partnership. Japan has consistently been one of South Africa’s three major trading partners. Over the past years, bilateral trade and investment has grown substantially with further opportunity for growth. Japan contributes to skills development in South Africa through training facilities managed by the Japan International Cooperative Agency.
It is envisaged that during the bilateral visit, President Zuma will meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to review bilateral relations and exchange views on critical regional and global issues. He will also engage the Japanese business community with a view to attracting more Japanese investments into the country. South Africa and Japan share similar views on the importance of multilateralism, which includes non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the reform of the UN system, to be more responsive to the interests of Africa and the developing world.