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Japan/Africa: More but Not Enough
Jun 9, 2008 (080609)
(Reposted from sources cited below)
In recent years, Japan's role in Africa has attracted little
attention from international media, in comparison to the high profile of
China and, sometimes, India. Nevertheless, with the world's 2nd
largest national economy, behind the United States, Japan's
relations with the continent are significant - and growing. As host
of the G-8 Summit in July, Japan will be in the spotlight and its
record on global and African issues under scrutiny.
At the end of May, Japan hosted the Fourth Tokyo International
Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), receiving
representatives from 52 African countries, including 40 heads of
state or government. Government officials were consistently upbeat
on the prospects both for African growth and for increased Japanese
aid and investment. Civil society networks from Japan and Africa
also welcomed increased Japanese involvement, but expressed
disappointment at the level of commitment on AIDS funding and the
dominant emphasis on private investment over direct support for
This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains (1) excerpts from the opening
speech at TICAD IV by Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, (2) a
critical statement from Japanese civil society by the TICAD IV NGO
Network and the 2008 G8 Summit NGO Forum, and (3) a statement on
Japan's contribution to the Global Fund, from Project RING and the
Japan AIDS and Society Association.
For additional official information on TICAD IV, see
http://www.ticad.net For ongoing coverage of African and Japanese
civil society opinion on Japan/Africa relations, see the website of
the TICAD Civil Society Forum (http://www.ticad-csf.net/eng).
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Address by H.E. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, Prime Minister of Japan at the
Opening Session of the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on
African Development (TICAD IV)
May 28, 2008
[Excerpts. For full text visit http://www.ticad.net]
Today we are honored to have representatives from 52 African
nations and from many Asian nations and donor countries. In
addition, a number of international organizations, special guests,
and representatives of NGOs are also participating. With all these
participants, this TICAD IV has become a truly historic event.
If I were to liken the history of African development to a great
narrative, then what we are about to do now is to open to a new
page, titled the "century of African growth." In the future,
Africa will become a powerful engine driving the growth of the
world. Through preparations for TICAD IV, I believe that we have
come to share a common intuition about Africa's prospects for the
Here at this juncture, Japan wants to walk alongside the African
people, shoulder to shoulder.
In order to boost the momentum for African growth, the most
important thing is the development of infrastructure. In
particular, the experiences of Japan and other Asian countries
tell us that improvements in transportation infrastructure play a
critical role in attracting private investment.
While there is progress now underway in Africa's road network,
there are still many missing links, and this is one of the reasons
why it has not yet reached a point where it sufficiently performs
the functions of a full-fledged network. The Government of Japan
wishes to engage in efforts to diligently join these unconnected
road networks. Japan also wishes to combine these efforts with
improvements to ports in order to form a network - a network that
will enable Africa as a whole to move forward with greater
With that in mind, the first pledge that I would like to make today
is that over the next five years, Japan will proactively and
flexibly provide up to 4 billion US dollars of soft loans to
Africa. It will certainly help increase momentum for infrastructure
improvements. Japan intends to do its utmost in this area in
cooperation with the donors of the Infrastructure Consortium for
Networks of road systems fulfill their intended purpose only when
they transport people and goods smoothly. Therefore our objective
must be to enable crossing and inspections at national borders as
quickly as possible. The Government of Japan hopes to assist with
building "one-stop border posts," which are facilities designed to
make crossing national borders more efficient in the areas of
customs and immigration procedures. Japan hopes to assist in
training the personnel who will work there.
Activities by private companies are crucial for African growth.
This is another reason why it is imperative for us to improve
infrastructure. Japanese companies will have greater interest in
Africa as infrastructure is enhanced. When direct investment from
Japanese companies increases, transfers of technology and
managerial know-how will also increase accordingly. If we are able
to utilize Africa's plentiful resources more fully by harnessing
Japan's technologies, this will surely be a major trigger for
growth and benefit Africa.
For that reason, the Japanese government will implement measures to
promote the activities of Japanese companies in Africa while it
improves African infrastructure. ... we will be inaugurating within
the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) the Facility
for African Investment. This Facility will directly finance
businesses in African countries and guarantee the financing
provided by Japanese banks for businesses in Africa. Financial
assistance for Africa through the JBIC, including this
newly-established JBIC Facility for African Investment, will be on
a scale of 2.5 billion US dollars over the next five years.
Through such public-private collaborative activity, we are aiming
to double Japanese private investment in Africa.
Next, please allow me to touch briefly on the issue of agriculture.
In order to fully ensure growth in Africa, the development of
agriculture is extremely important, as some two-thirds of the
total population of Africa is engaged in it.
We are deeply concerned by the fact that many African countries are
in great difficulty as a result of the recent sharp rise in food
prices. The Government of Japan recently announced an emergency
food assistance package equivalent to 100 million US dollars. I
will promise you here that a significant portion of this amount
will be targeted to Africa. On top of this, Japan is further
considering various assistance measures, including relief measures
for groups that have newly fallen into poverty as well as measures
to support crop planting for next year and the year after.
I have been speaking thus far about the importance of
infrastructure, private investment, and agricultural production
for growth. Next, I would like to touch on the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs).
Africa is facing a shortage of as many as 1.5 million health
workers. In response to this, Japan will train one hundred
thousand people in Africa over the next five years as health
Recently in the area of health-related measures, I decided that
Japan would contribute 560 million US dollars to the Global Fund
to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the coming years,
starting in 2009, to support the fight against these three major
infectious diseases. As you are aware, approximately 60 percent of
the Global Fund's total assistance goes to sub-Saharan Afric
In the fields of health or combating infectious diseases, Japan is
also considering dispatching Japanese researchers to universities
and research institutions in Africa. I would like for these
researchers to engage in joint research with young African
researchers to find solutions for various issues. I would also
like to announce that we will be convening a Japan-Africa Science
and Technology Ministers' Meeting in autumn this year.
Next I want to touch upon the fact that Japan intends to reward
persons who have been active in the fields of health or medical
services in Africa through the "Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize." It
was launched in honor of Dr. Noguchi, who died while researching
yellow fever in Africa. The prize's first awards ceremony will be
held this evening.
In order to bring about the range of measures that I have announced
thus far, we will need to take bold steps in our ODA. I pledge
that by 2012--five years from now--Japan will have doubled its ODA
to Africa, increasing it gradually over these years to achieve this
target. Just a minute ago, I stated that Japan would be providing
Japanese ODA loans of up to 4 billion US dollars to Africa to
improve African infrastructure. In addition, I promise that Japan
will double its grant aid and technical cooperation for Africa
over the next five years. Moreover, Japan will coordinate with the
international community, acting in good faith to address issues of
debt relief for Africa.
Finally, I would like to touch on the issue of climate change,
which will also be one of the major themes for discussion at the
G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit. I recently outlined a mechanism called
the "Cool Earth Partnership." Under this Partnership, Japan intends
to engage in assistance to developing countries, including African
countries, that aim to achieve both greenhouse gas emissions
reductions and economic growth in a compatible way. The scale of
assistance is 10 billion US dollars over the course of five years,
beginning this year. ...
As I conclude my remarks today, I would like to address Japan's
fundamental approach to African development. This can be summed up
in the phrase "self-reliance and mutual cooperation."
For Japan, a country with virtually no underground resources to
speak of, the most important type of resources is human resources.
First, we give our children a thorough education. Then, we make
them self-reliant. On that basis, they live in harmony together
with others, pooling their abilities to deal with any difficulties
that their friends might face. This is the principle of
"self-reliance and mutual cooperation."
So many Japanese have made efforts side by side with the people of
Africa. In particular, approximately 11,000 Japan Overseas
Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) have been dispatched to Africa over
the years. This constitutes a truly tremendous track record. At
this very moment there are 971 JOCVs working all around the
African continent. More than half of these volunteers--570 of
them--are women. I furthermore would like to increase the number of
African students studying in Japan. I firmly believe that mutual
exchanges of youth will form the foundation for the future of
Japan and Africa.
Civil Society Reaction to Opening Speech by Prime Minister Fukuda
Press release from TNnet/G8 NGO Forum on the opening speech of the
Japanese Prime Minister at the opening ceremony
TCSF English Newsletter Extra
May 27, 2008
TICAD Civil Society Forum (TCSF) http://ticad-csf.net/eng/
For more information, contact:
Toko Tomita: +81-(0)90-5217-6448 on behalf of: TICAD IV NGO
Takumo Yamada: +81-(0)80-3155-7017 on behalf of: 2008 G8
Summit NGO Forum
May 28th, 2008, Yokohama: At the opening ceremony of the Fourth
Tokyo International Conference on African Development, the Japanese
Prime Minister delivered a speech, in which he announced various
development supports for Africa for the coming 5 years. TICAD IV
NGO Network and 2008 G8 Summit NGO Network have together issued the
following reactions to some of the announcements made.
Aid to Promote Private Sector Investment to Boost Economic Growth
Prime Minister first noted rapid economic growth that Africa is
seeing, and announced various supports including USD 4 billion in
loans for transport infrastructure, trade insurance and a USD 2.5
billion worth of financing support for Japanese companies, seeking
investment opportunities in Africa, all over the next 5 years when
the next TICAD will be held.
While there is no doubt Africa needs growth, we civil society
believe that this is exactly the time to prioritise direct invest
in the areas of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), both because
many African societies suffer from social and economic divides and
in order to ensure that poor people can take part in the economic
Civil society is also concerned the implication of this large
amount of loans on the poor communities in Africa. Africa's current
debt crisis started with the plummeting primary commodity prices.
It is not clear whether the current growth is sustainable, and it
is questionable whether Africa will have the capacity to repay the
loans announced today.
Millenniun Development Goals
Fukuda reiterated the importance of achieving the MDGs, and
committed Japan to support reproductive health and train 100,000
health workers in the coming 5 years. Although welcome in itself,
the plan does not go far enough to help Africa reach the health
MDGs. Africa's public health sectors suffers from the huge lack of
money to recruit and pay for their human resources, so the trained
and qualified people have little choice but to migrate to rich
countries. If Japan is serious about overcoming the health worker
crisis, then it needs to be prepared to pay for these expenditures.
Prime Minister also mentioned the pledge he made last week to
contribute USD 560 million to the Global Fund to fight Aids, TB and
Malaria for the coming few years. But unless this is disbursed by
the end of 2010, it will not lead to an increase of Japan's
Considering TICAD's repeated emphasis on the role of education in
creating an equitable society, it is mysterious to see Fukuda not
mentioning the issue. Japan must increase its financial
contribution to the Education for All Fast Track Initiative.
Increase of Aid to Africa
Prime Minister announced the country's plan to double grant aid and
technical assistance to Africa. According to the information
material distributed by the government at the TICAD venue, this
doubling will be "excluding debt relief". This is a marked step
forward, as most of the last "doubling of aid to Africa" announced
by the then-PM Koizumi in 2005 has disappeared in the form of debt
relief. Japan now must combine this with a timetable to increase
its overall aid from the current 0.17% of GNI to 0.7% so that this
increase of aid to Africa will not end up robbing the needed
development finance from other regions.
Fukuda highlighted the USD 10 billion finance for developing
countries trying to reconcile economic growth and climate
mitigation objectives, as part of Japan's Cool Earth Partnership.
However, this money is mainly aimed for large emitting developing
countries, and it is not clear how much of it will be distributed
to Africa, whose primacy problem of climate change is adaptation
rather than mitigation. NGOs also stressed the need for climate
finance separate from and in addition to the 0.7% GNI commitment on
ODA, and for it to be spent through the UN Adaptation Fund which
ensures majority developing country say.
Lastly, Africa will continue to suffer as long and as much as Japan
continues to cause global warming. Japan must set and achieve an
ambitious mid-term Green House Gas Emission reduction target, as
well as providing adaptation financing to African countries.
Japan and the Global Fund
Today Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan made a speech in the
symposium named "From Okinawa to Toya-ko" organized by Friends of
the Global Fund Japan, the Global Fund and Japanese Ministry of
Foreign Affairs in Tokyo and pledged 560 million US dollars in the
coming a few years after 2009 to the Global Fund.
Civil society made 2 press releases, one is from Japanese civil
society and the other is global civil society, which both show our
The following is the statement from Japanese civil society.
Africa Japan Forum/Japan AIDS and Society Association
Civil Society 'Disappointed' by Japan's Global Fund Contribution
Civil Society Response to the Japanese Contribution to the Global
Project RING, Japan AIDS and Society Association Africa Japan Forum
For more information contact: Masaki Inaba/Aki Ogawa E-mail
Address: email@example.com Phone: +81-90-1264-8110 (Mobile of
May 23 2008 Tokyo, Japan - Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda announced
that today Japan would contribute a total of USD 560 Million to the
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the `coming
few years`. If the pledge were made for the two years of 2009 to
2010, the Japanese contribution have increased from USD 186 Million
in 2008 to USD 280 Million in 2009 and 2010. Yet the ambiguous time
period of "the coming few years" leaves open the possibility that
the USD 560 million will be paid over 2008-2011, meaning that the
Japanese contribution to the Global Fund would not increase. The
language makes it impossible to comment on the significance of the
pledge at the time when demand has grown enormously and the
contributions from other major donors have increased significantly.
An estimated USD 15-18 billion for 2008-2010 to the Global Fund
will be needed in order to help meet internationally agreed-upon
targets such as the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and the goal
of achieving universal access to HIV/AIDS services by 2010, this
contribution is far short of the USD 1-2 billion that is Japan's
'fair share' contribution to the Global Fund.
Donors such as the USA have consistently contributed about
one-third of the Global Fund's funding needs, and the USA
represents about one-third of GNI. On this basis, Japan, which has
the second largest economy in the world, should represent about 12%
of Global Fund needs, which is approximately USD 2.2 Billion FY
Masaki Inaba from Japan AIDS and Society Association said, "This
contribution is far below what Japan should be paying. As Japan has
the 2nd largest economy in the world, Japan needs to take the
responsibility of being the 2nd largest donor." The Global Fund
Board, with the support of Japan, recently decided, in principle,
to launch an additional funding Round in 2009, which will increase
the funding demand from countries urgently scaling up programs to
fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The Japanese government's
decision not to pay its fair share is particularly disappointing,
given the increased need being expressed by developing countries.
Disappointment was also heard from civil society in Africa. Cheikh
Tidanne Tall, Executive Director of AfriCASO said, "This unexpected
pledge from the Government of Japan creates a deep disappointment
for African CSO's; Africans being the continent which carries the
largest burden of the three diseases through the millions of men,
women and children suffering because of the lack of treatment."
Under the economic climate of decreasing ODA, civil society as well
as some members within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has worked
hard to ensure that Japan makes a pledge today, yet as society, as
government as a whole, no one has taken the responsibility to
fulfill international promises.
In 2000, at the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, the Japanese Government, led
by Prime Minister Mori launched the Okinawa Infectious Disease
Initiative, committed itself to the global response to the spread
of the infectious diseases. Japan had prided itself as helping to
pave the way for the establishment of the Global Fund, as proudly
announced by Foreign Minister Koumura at a political speech in
November 2007, and reiterated by Prime Minister Fukuda's speech in
the 2008 World Economic Forum. This announcement left civil society
wondering where this commitment has gone.
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