Media Statement

11 December 2020

Minister Pandor to host her Japanese counterpart for bilateral talks

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, will on Saturday, 12 December 2020, host her Japanese counterpart, Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, in Pretoria for bilateral talks aimed at further strengthening South Africa – Japan relations.

South Africa and Japan enjoy well-established diplomatic relations which are particularly strong in the fields of trade and investment, science and technology and skills development. Since 2010, the relations have been upgraded by the two sides to a Strategic Cooperation Partnership.

President Cyril Ramaphosa attended three of the high-profile events in Japan in 2019; namely the 14th G-20 Summit (June), the 7th TICAD Summit (August) and the 2019 Rugby World Cup (September).

President Ramaphosa met former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on all three occasions. In October 2019, the President designated Deputy Minister Candith Mashego-Dlamini to attend the official Enthronement Ceremony of Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito.

On 26 June 2020, Ministers Pandor and Motegi convened a teleconference during which they shared the view that the next Partnership Forum Meeting (13th) should be held “as early as possible, once exchanges could be resumed”. They also exchanged views on cooperation in the international arena, including United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform, and on the issue of North Korea (DPRK). Minister Pandor highlighted that South Africa upholds multilateralism and was concerned about attacks at the time on the World Health Organisation.

From 2018-19, South Africa’s total volume of trade with Japan has increased from R97,2 billion to R102,6 billion, while the trade balance, which is in South Africa’s favour, has increased from R21,5 billion to R21,6 billion. During 2019, South Africa exported mainly precious metals, minerals, as well as iron and steel products to Japan, whilst importing machinery, vehicles and equipment components. An average of approximately 11,147 Japanese tourists visit South Africa annually (period 2010 - 2019), which has increased over the last two years (prior to COVID-19).

Japan is a major investor into the South African economy, with a current presence of over 160 Japanese companies, sustaining over 150,000 local job opportunities. Recent investments by Japan include R4,28 billion by Toyota; R3,2 billion by Nissan; and R1.2 billion by Isuzu. Other new investments were made inter alia by Sumitomo Rubber, Komatsu, Kansai Paint, NEC, Lixel, Nomura Investment and Tokyo Marine.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
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