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  • » 05/31/2013, 00.00

    JAPAN - AFRICA

    Japan competing with China for Africa trade



    In 2011, China's trade with Africa reached 138.9 billion dollars, five times Japan's. Tokyo needs oil, rare earths and markets for its vehicles and high tech. Its aid includes agricultural projects, technical training, and maritime security off the coast of Somalia.

    Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Japanese capital will host an International Conference on African Development on 1-3 June, organised by the government of Shinzo Abe.

    More than 50 African leaders will attend the meeting, which is held every five years and is one of the biggest events on its kind.

    Japan's prime minister is expected to meet personally at least 40 leaders, in order to enhance his country's trade with the continent hitherto dominated by the Chinese.

    Africa's economic growth is luring Japanese exporters, and Tokyo wants to tap into the continent's vast natural gas and oil reserves after the 2011 Fukushima disaster led to the closing of its nuclear plants.

    So far, China has taken advantage of the continent's potential with its companies fuelling China-Africa trade to the tune of US$ 138.6 billion in 2011, nearly five times Japan's commerce with the continent, this according to Foreign Ministry data.

    Currently, Japan buys metals and energy from Africa and exports vehicles and machinery. Now the government wants to buy rare earths to end its dependence on China, the world's leading supplier of these minerals, and is willing to offer assistance in the high-tech sector, especially to South Africa.

    However, as it battles a major economic crisis, Japan has been focused on domestic affairs. Since coming to power six months ago, Shinzo Abe has in fact not visited a single African country. By comparison, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who took office in March, has already visited Tanzania and the Republic of Congo, reiterating a pledge for US$ 20 billion in loans.

    At the three-day summit, Shinzo Abe will reiterate an early pledge on agricultural development projects and technical training in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as help to enhance maritime security off the coast of Somalia.

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    See also

    04/11/2006 CHINA - AFRICA
    China, Africa should talk human rights, not just trade

    As the summit between China and African countries unfolds, Human Rights Watch has called attention to human rights and warned that mutual trade links should not inflict harm on the rights of entire peoples.



    03/06/2008 JAPAN - AFRICA
    From TICAD IV, a new model for fostering African development
    The international forum was attended by 51 African nations and 17 African organisations, 12 Asian nations, 22 donor nations, and 55 international organisations.

    06/11/2006 CHInA – AFRICA
    Pledges and money underpin Sino-African economic and political alliance
    New contracts are signed and strategies are laid out as the Chinese giant and the world's poorest continent concluded their summit yesterday in Beijing. In addition to establishing 'neo-colonial' relations, China wants to establish the diplomatic ties with the last five African states that still recognise Taiwan.

    22/04/2005 JAPAN - ASIA
    Tensions between Beijing and Tokyo start to let up
    Koizumi apologises to Asia for the past crimes of the Japanese army. Hu Jintao bans anti-Japanese demonstrations.

    13/04/2007 CHINA – JAPAN
    Applause and sympathy for Wen, talks focus on the economy and the military
    China’s premier meets ordinary people today. He highlights the need for concrete co-operation between the two countries to renew a shared history that spans 2,000 years. The two countries have many common interests. Military co-operation starts again.



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