Status of Plans to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Japan - South Africa Relations
FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO: 457
PUBLISHEN IN THE INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO: 4 OF 26 FEBRUARY 2010
Mr S Mokgalapa (DA) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:
1) Whether any plans are in place to mark the 100th anniversary of the Japan/South Africa relations; if not, why not; if so, what plans;
2) Whether her department is taking any action in strengthening public diplomacy; if not, why not; if so, what action?
1) Yes, the Embassy of South Africa in Tokyo is coordinating and presenting a programme of events in celebration of the centennial of official relations between the two countries in Japan; while the Embassy of Japan will present a programme of events in South Africa. The Centennial Celebrations events are designed to promote and deepen people-to-people interaction and mutual understanding of our respective cultures.
The Embassy of Japan has already hosted various cultural events, which include a Japanese Film Festival in Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. And a traditional Japanese Kabuki lecture; while a joint concert with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring both a Japanese conductor and a Japanese pianist is scheduled to take place on 10 March 2010. Other events are also planned.
As part of its legacy project, the Embassy of Japan is planning to establish a Centre for Japanese Studies at the Gordon Institute for Business Science (GIBS), which will provide full scholarships to selected candidates from previously disadvantaged communities.
The Embassy of South Africa in Tokyo is planning, among others, a rugby match between South Africa and Japan; a South African film festival; and “The Treasures of South Africa Exhibition” in collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture. The centennial year coincides with the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup in which the Japanese national team will participate, and we are looking forward to welcoming high-profile visitors from Japan.
2) The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has developed a public diplomacy strategy and a resourcing plan (with a detailed personnel and programme costing) for implementation in the next financial year. The new public diplomacy dictates that we go beyond the traditional state-to-state relationship to also focus on the relationship between the state and other stakeholders across the world in search of the creation of long lasting relationships.
The new strategic focus areas which have been identified include:
- internal communications;
- marketing intelligence and customer research;
- brand management (inter/national advertising);
- branch-based account management system;
- intensification of outreach programmes;
- translations into French, Spanish and Mandarin;
- development of multi-stakeholder and multimedia delivery platforms;
- development of websites and e-channels for embassies/missions from the DIRCO Head Office;
- password-accessed intranet;
- a dedicated team for ministerial and foreign service support; and
- Centralised distribution and warehousing.