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History of Relations
Africa established a Consulate General in November 1962 at the Imperial Hotel
(Tokyo). Consular relations were upgraded to full diplomatic relations on 13 January
1992. During this period, Japan's relations with South Africa remained limited,
including supporting UN sanctions. Full diplomatic relations were only established
after 1994. Former President Nelson Mandela, visited Japan in July 1995. Mr Mandela
paid tribute to those who had contributed to the struggle against apartheid and
stated that with the ending of apartheid, South Africa's relations with Japan
could only grow from strength to strength.
Subsequent to Mr Mandela's visit,
Deputy President Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki held a successful working visit to Tokyo,
in April 1998 which contributed to the strengthening of relations between South
Africa and Japan. Whilst acknowledging that South Africa and Japan were important
partners in their pursuit of a common world order based on peace, democracy, justice
and equality, the then Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and Deputy President Mbeki
resolved to deepen, strengthen and diversify this bilateral relationship (Partnership
between South Africa and Japan for the 21st Century). In October 1998, Deputy
President Mbeki attended the Second Tokyo International Conference on Development
(TICAD II) in support of the importance that South Africa attached to its bilateral
relationship with Japan, as well as to address the conference on the African Renaissance.
President, Mr Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki and his wife Mrs Zanele Mbeki paid a
State Visit to Japan from 1 to 3 October 2001, at the invitation of the Government
of Japan. President Mbeki was accompanied by Six Ministers (Dr Dlamini Zuma: Minister
of Foreign Affairs; Dr BS Ngubane: Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology;
Mr A Erwin: Minister of Trade and Industry; Mr V Moosa: Minister of Environmental
Affairs and Tourism; Ms AT Didiza: Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs; and
Dr ME Tshabala-Msimang: Minister of Health. During the State Visit, President
Mbeki renewed an invitation to Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress to visit
South Africa. An invitation was also extended to Prime Minister Koizumi to visit
Prime Minister Koizumi re-affirmed Japan's policy statement
on Africa, made by the then Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori during his visit to South
Africa in January 2001. A variety of bilateral and multilateral issues were discussed
between President Mbeki and PM Mori during his visit to South Africa. In his keynote
address, PM Mori emphasised Japan's contribution to global peace and prosperity,
and Japan's wish to synchronise the TICAD process with NEPAD (New Partnership
for Africa's Development).
During the State Visit, both countries confirmed
their common views on many issues facing the international community in the twenty-first
century and expressed their determination to strengthen the cooperative relationship
between North and South towards the achievement of international peace and prosperity.
Japan commended South Africa for its leadership as the chair of various international
fora including the Non-aligned Movement (NAM) and the Commonwealth, and its contributions
to such international conferences as the UN World Conference Against Racism (WCAR).
Both countries decided to intensify cooperation towards the successful conclusion
of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. They also
reaffirmed the need to strengthen cooperation on other global environmental issues,
including global warming and fresh water resources in fora such as UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change (COP7), Oct-Nov 2001 and the Third World Water Forum
in Kyoto in March 2003.
Through its Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)
programme, Japan has been very supportive of South Africa, to assist in its nation
building in 1994 and in 1999. The ODA commitment was mainly intended for the previously
disadvantaged in South Africa. Japan has also supported SA's human resource development
project under the auspices of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Many South Africans have participated in these very important and advantageous
training programmes in Japan. In 2001, South Africa and Japan signed an agreement
for the dispatch of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) who have been
deployed in South Africa and have provided assistance in the educational, health
and agricultural sectors.
This year will mark the Seventh Japan-South African
Partnership Forum, which will take place in Tokyo. This is a high-level interaction
of senior government officials (from both countries) where various bilateral and
multilateral issues are discussed between the government of Japan and the government
of South Africa. This forum has witnessed the successful conclusion of a Science
and Technology Agreement between the government of Japan and South African in
Bilateral trade between Japan
and South Africa had been expanding since the establishment of full diplomatic
relations in 1992. Companies such as the Toyota Motor Corp had entered South Africa
in 1962 and investment by Japanese companies continued during this period.
South Africa exports mainly primary products (base metals, agricultural products,
etc) to Japan whilst importing technology-intensive goods from Japan. An interesting
and significant change in the nature of exports to Japan can be discerned with
South Africa becoming the second largest exporter of motor vehicles to Japan in
There has been over Yen 100-billion in Japanese investments to
South Africa since 1994. Japanese investments into South Africa are mostly in
the automotive, metals and chemicals sectors.
The first "Japan-South
Africa Business Forum" between business organisations was launched in Tokyo
on 3 October 2001, during the State Visit by President Mbeki and has become an
important mechanism which facilitates business relations between South Africa
South African Japan Parliamentary Friendship League
Japan-South Africa Parliamentary Friendship League will be ten years old. The
main aim of this forum is to further mutual cooperation and promote friendship
between Diet members in Japan and their South African counterparts.
(Tokyo International Conference on African Development)
The Tokyo International
Conference on African Development (TICAD) was launched in 1993 to provide assistance
to Africa. TICAD II was held in October 1998 in Tokyo. The "African Development
Towards the 21st Century: the Tokyo Agenda for Action" was adopted at TICAD
II with the aim of ensuring policy implementation. The Tokyo Agenda for Action
expressed the commitment of African countries to the agreed goals in social development,
economic development, increased cooperation between Asia and Africa and the foundations
of development, namely, good governance, conflict prevention, etc.
level delegation led by President Mbeki participated at the TICAD III from 29
September to 1 October 2003. The Government of Japan has sought to keep the issue
of African development on the global agenda through the TICAD process. It is through
this TICAD process that Japan seeks to support the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (NEPAD) in various projects including infrastructure, agriculture,
ICT, education, health and capacity building. In May 2003, Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi stated that "Japan's basic policy on cooperation with Africa will
be to support NEPAD through the TICAD process, and to expand partnership for that
purpose ..... and maintain solidarity between NEPAD and G8, and cooperation with
international organisations at the centre of our partnership".
TICAD III, President Mbeki expressed appreciation to the government for Japan
for its commitment to the TICAD process and for championing the cause of African
development. President Mbeki also placed emphasis on the role that Japan can play
in realising the objectives of NEPAD in priority areas such as: agriculture, health,
education, infrastructure, capacity building, expertise and resources of Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA), trade and investment, and informing the
Japanese private sector of the new opportunities which exist in Africa.
South African Representation in Japan
H E Mr T Dlomo
South African Embassy
Representation in South Africa
H E Mr S Hiroki
Embassy of Japan
Visa Requirements for South Africans
For more information
contact the Embassy of Japan in Pretoria.
No immunisation before departure from South Africa is necessary.
Malaria is not a problem in Japan. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required
from travellers coming from an infected area.
For further information go
to Travelers' Health.
is hot and humid during the summer months of June, July and August and cold and
dry in winter. Please note that July is known as the rainy season and that September
is the monsoon season. Temperatures from June to August can go up to 38 degrees
C with a humidity level of 70 - 90% or more.
For up-to-date weather information
monetary unit is the Yen. The Japanese make use of both Yen coins and Yen bank
notes. The smallest note is a 1000 yen note and the smallest coin is the one yen
coin. The currency is often referred to as the "en", and abbreviated
to Y. The symbol for Yen is "Y. The current rate of exchange is about Y111.01
to the US dollar. The currency is freely convertible. The Yen has been experiencing
large fluctuations in rates of exchange for the past year. Japan is a cash based
society. Even though credit cards are used freely in Japan, it is still recommended
that travellers be in possession of yen at all times.
For current exchange
rates click here.
and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings
If you have any queries with regard to treaties please
contact the Treaty Section at 012 351 0892/0742 or send an e-mail to: email@example.com.
Africa's exports to Japan consist mainly of mineral products, base metals and
agricultural produce, including: precious stones and metals, iron and steel, ores,
aluminium, wood, mineral fuel and oil, salt, sulphur, earth, stone, inorganic
chemicals, sugars, preserved food, fish and seafood.
For current information
on trade statistics between South Africa and Japan, visit the web site of the
Department of Trade
and Industry of South Africa.
Groups and Information
South Africa-Japan Parliamentary Friendship League,
African Trade Association (SATA): contact person is Mr Toshio Makiura at tel:
8144 954 5620 and Fax 8144 954 5621,
Springbok Club, contact person is Mr
Toshio Makiura at tel: 8144 954 8991
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
all Japanese people speak English?
Unfortunately not many Japanese speak
English. For assistance in English you may contact either a police office or English
speaking personnel at any of the International Hotels. Travellers are advised
to purchase a phrase book before visiting Japan.