Minister Nkoana-Mashabane to receive Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada in the Republic of South Africa

The Foreign Minister of Japan, His Excellency Mr Katsuya Okada, is scheduled to pay a Working Visit to South Africa from 29 to 30 April 2010.

This first visit by a serving Japanese Foreign Minister takes place within the context of promoting North-South Cooperation and on the occasion of the Centennial of official relations between South Africa and Japan. Minister Okada will co-Chair with Minister M Nkoana-Mashabane the 10th South Africa – Japan Partnership Forum. At the 9th session of the Partnership Forum that took place in January 2009 in Tokyo, South Africa and Japan reconfirmed their extensive bilateral diplomatic relationship. Both countries expressed the wish that the Partnership continue to be advanced and strengthened through continued high-level government interaction and dialogue.

Senior Officials of both Governments will convene on the first day of the Partnership Forum in the following Working Groups:

  • Science and Technology
  • Development Co-operation and Human Resources
  • Economy 1: Energy
  • Economy 2: Joint Trade Committee

The two Ministers will meet on 30 April 2010 to discuss matters of mutual interest in the bilateral, multilateral and global spheres. This meeting will be followed by the Closing Session of the Partnership Forum at which the chairpersons of the respective Working Groups will report back on the proceedings and achievements in their Groups.

2010 marks the 100th year since the establishment of contact between South Africa and Japan with the appointment of an Honorary Consul of Japan, Sir Julius Jeppe, in Cape Town in 1910.

Programmes of Centennial Celebrations events are designed to promote and deepen people-to-people interaction and mutual understanding of our respective cultures are being presented by the Embassy of South Africa in Tokyo and the Embassy of Japan in Pretoria, respectively.

Japan is an important trading partner and despite the global economic downturn, South Africa continues to enjoy a healthy trade surplus. Forecasts for 2010 indicate that bilateral trade between South Africa and South Africa will recover significantly.

Total trade 2008

R107 billion.

RSA exports 2009

R 34 billion (2008: R 66 billion)

RSA imports

R 26 billion (2008: R 41 billion)

Trade balance 2009

+ R 8 billion (2008: + R26 billion)

Total Japanese Foreign Direct Investment as at 2009

R 14 billion

Number of companies


Exports/ Imports

South Africa’s principal exports are base metals, heavy metals and automobiles, while our imports are mainly automobiles, machinery, chemicals, earthmoving equipment and high-tech equipment.

Thousands of jobs in South Africa are dependent on South Africa’s exports to Japan, while Japanese companies in South Africa employ many thousands more.

For further information, please contact Mr. Mahlatse Mminele at 076-688-5252.

Issued by the Department International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152
Pretoria, 0001

28 April 2010


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