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Sun, 17 Nov 2019 12:06 GMT

Evaluation of Japanese-African Relations

Politics

Dr Slimane Aradj

Mon, 04 Nov 2019 15:53 GMT

The evaluation of Japanese-African relations and the feasibility of a strong venture to inject a new breath of life into the pattern of exchange, especially from the geopolitical perspective of development, must lead us to say that the goals and objectives are strategic and are related to the importance and dimensions of the ascent, or at least striking a balance in the regional balance of power. 

Japan and Africa: What is the deal?

In its seventh edition, the recent Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) summit revived a strong Japanese desire to restore its presence within the African continent, and highlighted its efforts to open new development avenues which Japan said are based on investment, technology and innovation to the best interest of the two nations, namely Africa.

Many observers say that Japan was the ‘present absentee’ in Africa as it was formally present in institutional character in 1993 within the framework of founding TICAD, its attendance however, took a specific pattern in which Japan maintained the status as a major donor country to Africa, particularly throughout the 1990s. It was partially present in its direct investment index in Africa where it maintained its existence via partnerships with France, India, and Turkey and through investment projects in Africa.

In this endeavor, it is important to question the criteria of the Japanese orientation towards Africa, whether at the political, diplomatic or economic level. In fact, Japan sees all these as based on flexibility in supporting the requirements of governance and direct contribution to better development in Africa by focusing on human resources, a model that Japan is presenting today based on variant themes, most prominently the shift from direct assistance to a pattern of direct investment, as this approach is part of a trend to subject foreign policy objectives to the requirements of development.

The direct investment strategy is to announce Japan's strong return to Africa, which we see through the principles chosen to form a framework for promoting Japan's presence in Africa, according to the Japanese Prime Minister's speech during the recent TICAD summit.

In his address, the Prime Minister said the two parties bet on boosting Japanese investments and exchanges as well as on diversifying aspects of cooperation. He affirmed that cooperation will focus on the trinity of openness, quality and accompanying, particularly the African Union's 2063 development strategy, in addition to helping Africa achieve and serve the UN sustainable development goals of 2030.

This is an endeavour which we can limit to two main dimensions or directions targeted by Japan's new plan: Sustainable development and human security. Therefore, there is a Japanese desire to create a qualitative relationship with Africa, which will be further enhanced by Japan's experience in development.  

The assessment of Japan-Africa relations and the feasibility of a strong bet to inject new breath of life into the pattern of exchange relations, especially from the geopolitical perspective of development, must lead us to say that the goals and objectives are strategic and related to the importance and dimensions of the ascent, or at least striking a balance in the regional balance of power.

The extrapolation of the duality of insurance of maritime navigation as well as the support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership model are part of the contents of the equation to strike the balance required for coordination or relationship between the security and the trade systems, which is a new Japanese ambitious project through which we can ensure a safe sea lane linking the Pacific Oceans and the Indian Ocean.

Based on this, Japan's changing reputation as a country with a peaceful view to the world order is crystalised, and this will continue to be a positive and catalyst for bilateral as well as group relationships, something we can discern from Japan's calm and often neutral positions and its foreign policy.

Such a positive impression has been further crystalised by the level of African acceptance of the Japanese partner, with the latter becoming an increasingly important alternative to the rest of Africa's traditional partners.

Since the end of World War II, Japan's peaceful identity and strategy represent a major support for strong economic relations. Part of the Japanese premise is that Japan's economic power is transformed into strategic influence, which further enhanced Japan's strength to eliminate various forms of threats.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of 7Dnews.


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