Japan's deep commitment to Africa
Japan is determined to contribute to the
development of Africa. Although there are
few historical ties with the continent (indeed
Tokyo did not open full-fledged relations
with African countries until they had declared
their independence from colonial rule after
the Second World War), Japan does hold a strong
belief that there will be no stability or
prosperity in the world unless the problems
of Africa are resolved.
Japan's commitment was demonstrated in launching
the TICAD process and shifting the international
community's attention back to Africa in the
1990s, after the end of the Cold War appeared
to focus global interest elsewhere.
Through TICAD Japan has promoted the principles
of both global partnership and African ownership.
As stated in the Tokyo Agenda for Action adopted
at TICAD II in 1998, Japan and its African
partners believe that priorities for economic
and social development should be determined
by African countries themselves, and development
should be pursued under a common framework
for cooperation among all development actors.
Japan's work through TICAD complements the
substantial overseas development aid which
it has directed towards African countries.
It is from this standpoint that Japan firmly
welcomed the launch of the New Partnership
for Africa's Development (NEPAD) in 2001,
at which Africa's leaders proclaimed the principle
of ownership in development. They stated:
"we will determine our own destiny and call
on the world to complement our efforts." They
also stressed their determination to meet
pre-requisites for development such as peace,
security, democracy, good governance, and
sound economic management. With such principles,
it is clear that NEPAD is building upon key
elements that are also embraced by Japan's
overall purpose in initiating TICAD.