Prime Minister Abe’s Visit to Ethiopia (Outline and Outcomes)
Posted by African Press International on January 31, 2014
TOKYO, Japan, January 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – 1. Outline and Outcomes
(1) Prime Minister Abe selected Ethiopia as his last stop of his tour of Africa because it is the country Japan holds the longest bilateral relation in Africa, the Chair of the African Union (AU) and he wished to send a message to the African countries from Addis Ababa, the capital of African diplomacy, where the AU headquarters is located. At the AU headquarters, Prime Minister Abe delivered a policy speech titled Japan’s Diplomacy towards Africa: Strengthening Each Individual, One by One. He made an appeal for Africa to choose Japan as its true partner, explaining that what is necessary for Africa is Japanese assistance and the organizational culture of Japanese companies which value human resources and place importance on creative ingenuity through the bottom-up approach. By doing so, Prime Minister Abe succeeded in promoting the presence of Japan in Africa, emphasizing Japan’s unique attributes.
(2) In terms of the bilateral relationship, in the summit meeting, Prime Minister Hailemariam expressed his appreciation for the Kaizen project, which Japan has been promoting in Ethiopia, Japan’s human resources development support, such as the African Business Education Initiative for Youth (ABE Initiative), implementation of the Industrial Policy Dialogue toward Ethiopia’s economic structural reform, and assistance in the areas of infrastructure and agriculture. He also expressed his expectations for further investment by Japanese private companies. Both leaders took this opportunity to sign on the Exchange of Notes amending the bilateral Air Service Agreement, which enables direct flights of Ethiopian Airlines to Narita International Airport.
(3) In particular, with regards to the situation of South Sudan, considering Japan’s serious concerns over the situation there, Prime Minister Abe conducted diplomacy vis-à-vis Ethiopia which plays a central role in peacemaking mediation as a neighboring country and hosts negotiations between the parties in Addis Ababa. Prime Minister Abe expressed his support for mediation efforts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD; Chair: Ethiopia) and both leaders confirmed that they would seek an early suspension of hostilities between the parties and national reconciliation in the future.
(4) In addition, in the expanded summit meeting, Prime Minister Abe emphasized the interests the Japanese private sector has in Ethiopia, through the accompanying delegations from 15 private companies, universities, and so forth, and held discussions toward promotion of investments in both countries. Both leaders shared the view that Japan is going to promote a closer business relationship with Ethiopia, a country with which Japan has enjoyed more than eight decades of diplomatic relationship, the longest among the African countries.
2. Outline of Events
(1) Meeting with Mr. Abebe’s Son and Other Athletes
Prime Minister Abe met the son of Mr. Abebe Bikila (late gold medalist in the men’s marathon in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics) and other athletes associated with Japan (Ms. Tiki Gelana, Mr. Yacob Jarso). After admiring the collection related to Mr. Abebe and photos relevant to the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, Prime Minister Abe handed over running shoes to promising boys and girls belonging to the Ethiopian Athletics Federation.
(2) Japan-Ethiopia Summit Meeting, Signing Ceremony of the Exchange of Notes on the Amendment of the Annex to the Air Service Agreement between Japan and Ethiopia, and Joint Press Conference
Prime Minister Abe held a Japan-Ethiopia summit meeting with Prime Minister Hailemariam. Following this meeting, the both leaders held an expanded summit meeting inviting top leaders of Japanese companies and organizations, and private-sector personnel of the both countries made remarks on the efforts for further reinforcement of the economic relationship between the both countries, including investments. Following the summit meetings, and after having attended the signing ceremony of the Exchange of Notes on the amendment of the Annex of the bilateral Air Service Agreement, Prime Minister Abe held a joint press conference with Prime Minister Hailemariam.
Joint Communiqué: “Joint Communiqué between Japan and Ethiopia on the Occasion of the State Visit of Prime Minister Abe to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia” (Summary of the outcomes of the summit meeting) (Outline (Japanese)(PDF), Text (Japanese(PDF), English(PDF)))
(3) Official Dinner Hosted by Prime Minister Hailemariam
Following the above events, Mr. and Mrs. Abe attended the official dinner hosted by Prime Minister Hailemariam.
(1) Courtesy Call on President Mulatu and Visit to the Japanese Garden in the Presidential Palace
Prime Minister Abe made a courtesy call on President Mulatu Teshome at the presidential palace. Prime Minister Abe reiterated his congratulations on the assumption of the presidency of President Mulatu (October 2013), who has experience of having served as an Ethiopian Ambassador to Japan. In response, President Mulatu expressed his gratitude to Japan’s past cooperation in the development of Ethiopia.
Following this courtesy call, Prime Minister Abe visited the Japanese garden in the palace with the President.
(2) Policy Speech by Prime Minister Abe (Text attached)
Prime Minister Abe made a policy speech on Africa titled Japan’s Diplomacy towards Africa: ‘Strengthening Each Individual, One by One’ at the headquarters of the African Union (AU).
Citing specific examples of the Kaizen project and others, in response to the question of what unique contributions Japan can make for the further development and growth of Africa, Prime Minister Abe emphasized that Japanese companies, which consider human resources as the most valuable resource and value the creativity and ingenuity of each individual, will bring this philosophy along with their investments and will contribute to human resource development in Africa. He stressed that strengthening of the relationship with Japan and Japanese companies would lead to sustainable growth in Africa.
On that basis, Prime Minister Abe announced that Japan’s diplomacy towards Africa will focus on the empowerment of young people and women, and that Japan will provide maximum support to realize “an Africa where young people and women shine”.
In addition, Prime Minister Abe announced that Japan is committed to doubling the amount of EPSA loans, which are co-financed by Japan and the African Development Bank (for five years from 2012), and is prepared to implement assistance of approximately 320 million US dollars in order to respond to conflicts and disasters in Africa, such as those in South Sudan and Central African Republic.
Text of the Speech (Japanese(PDF), English(PDF), French(PDF))
(3) Courtesy Call by Dr. Zuma, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union
Following the policy speech on Africa, Prime Minister Abe received a courtesy call by Dr. Zuma, the chairperson of the Commission of the African Union in the AU headquarters. Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan will implement cooperation to promote the use of the abilities of women and young people as mentioned in his policy speech, and that Japan is preparing new assistance of 5 million dollars for the AU, including assistance for South Sudan and Central African Republic.
In response, following his remarks to welcome Prime Minister Abe’s visit, Dr. Zuma expressed her gratitude for various support from Japan, including the above assistance, and stated that she would like to continue to cooperate with Japan in the areas of human resource development and agriculture.
Japan – Ministry of Foreign Affairs