Kishida seeks closer ties with Africa in bid to woo ‘Global South’

by May 5, 2023Featured Article, News

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday he hoped to see closer ties between Japan and Africa as he seeks to win over the “Global South” ahead of a Group of Seven (G7) summit he will host later this month.

Kishida said that Japan would act as an intermediary between the G7 advanced nations and developing countries and that he hoped to offer tangible forms of cooperation from the G7 in areas including energy and food security.

“Many countries of the so-called Global South are hurt and suffering from high food and energy prices. The cause of this issue should be traced to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Kishida told a news conference carried live by Japanese NHK television held during a visit to Mozambique’s capital Maputo.

“But there are attempts to divide the world, through the projection of inaccurate impressions that this is caused by the G7’s sanctions on Russia,” Kishida added, without specifying who was making those attempts.

Kishida will host a G7 summit on May 19-21 in his home constituency of Hiroshima, where leaders are expected to stress the importance of the rule of law in the face of Russia’s war in Ukraine, and regional tensions surrounding China and Taiwan.

Kishida was in Maputo after visiting Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya as part of a trip that started on Sunday and will be concluded with a stop in Singapore on Friday.

© Thomson Reuters 2023.