Japan warms up to South Africa and 3 other countries, shuns Nigeria

Yoshihide Suga is new prime minister of Japan

Japan’s foreign minister will visit 4 important African countries in renewed Indo-Pacific strengthening of diplomatic ties and trade relations.

While South Africa, Mozambique, Mauritius and Tunisia are tops in Japan’s priority, Nigeria, the laggard giant of Africa, recently outed on its notorious human rights violations and corruption, vide #EndSARS, does not even get a mention.

Japan foreign minister to visit 4 African countries next week

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (Pool photo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Friday he plans to visit Tunisia, Mozambique, South Africa and Mauritius next week to discuss strengthening post-coronavirus business ties.

In Mauritius, Motegi said he wants to convey Tokyo’s intention to help the Indian Ocean island nation recover from the damage its environment and economy suffered following an oil spill from a Japanese freighter in July.

In the four countries, “I want to conduct various discussions on bilateral relations and toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Motegi explained, referring to promoting the rule of law, freedom of navigation, and free trade across the region stretching from Asia to Africa.

Motegi’s trip will start on Tuesday and will end on Dec. 14, a Foreign Ministry source said.

Tunisia will host the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in 2022, while South Africa is chair of the African Union this year.