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Joint Statement between Japan and the Republic of Zimbabwe on the Occasion of the Official Working Visit to Japan by H.E. Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe

By Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
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1.H.E. Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and First Lady Dr. Grace Mugabe paid an Official Working Visit to Japan from March 27 to 31, 2016 at the invitation of the Government of Japan.

2.H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, and H.E. President Mugabe held a bilateral summit meeting in Tokyo on March 28, 2016. Prime Minister Abe welcomed President Mugabe's visit to Japan following his visit last year on the occasion of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, and paid respect to President Mugabe's recent active roles as the Chairman of the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Bilateral Cooperation

3.Affirming universal values which both countries share, the two leaders welcomed that long-standing friendly and cooperative relations have been nurtured between Japan and Zimbabwe in both bilateral and multilateral contexts, and shared the commitment to further strengthen their bilateral relationship. In that context, the two leaders welcomed the recent high level visits between the two countries and also shared a common intention to continue bilateral dialogue at all levels, and to elaborate mechanisms for consultation on economic, technical and other cooperation.

4.Prime Minister Abe highly commended efforts of the Government of Zimbabwe on economic recovery including the “Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET),” and expressed Japan's continuous support for Zimbabwe's efforts for development, following last year's grant aid of up to 1.791 billion yen (approximately 15 million US dollars) for the Project for Irrigation Development for Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme.

5.Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan developed its new country assistance policy for Zimbabwe under which Japan has decided on (1) grant aid to Zimbabwe for economic and social development, including infrastructural improvement amounting 600 million yen (approximately 5 million US dollars), and (2) implementation of a preparatory study for Zimbabwe-Zambia road improvement, which is important for Zimbabwe's North-South Corridor. Prime Minister Abe also stated that consideration on assistance to respond to the severe food shortages in Zimbabwe that has resulted from drought would be started. President Mugabe expressed his gratitude for Japan's cooperation.

6.The two leaders welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Zimbabwe and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) on the mining sector in September last year. They also welcomed the progress of cooperation, including human resource development, in this area between the two countries.

7.The two leaders shared the view that both Governments would make efforts to promote trade and investment between Japan and Zimbabwe. Prime Minister Abe welcomed the progress on the establishment of Special Economic Zones in Zimbabwe. President Mugabe briefed Prime Minister Abe on his Government's efforts to enhance the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe, and clarified Zimbabwe's Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Policy. President Mugabe highly commended Japanese technology and products and stated his resolve to continue efforts to invite investment from Japan to Zimbabwe.

8.Sharing the recognition that people-to-people exchanges are important for mutual understanding, the two leaders shared the view that they would enhance people-to-people exchanges through programs such as African Business Education Initiative for Youth (ABE Initiative), Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) training programs and sporting exchanges. In this connection, the two leaders welcomed the Memorandum made between the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and the University of Zimbabwe and the opening of opportunities for Zimbabwean teachers to apply for scholarships for the in-service teacher training program offered by the Government of Japan.

9.Prime Minister Abe briefed President Mugabe on Japan's policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” and Japan's willingness to redouble its efforts to contribute to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world.

Multilateral Cooperation

10.The two leaders welcomed that the next Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) would be held in August this year for the first time in Africa and shared their intention to strengthen cooperation between the two countries toward the success of TICAD VI. Prime Minister Abe expressed his view that TICAD VI would be an important opportunity to support Africa's development agenda, Agenda 2063, and Japan would demonstrate concrete contributions which are distinctive to Japan, such as quality infrastructure investment and human resource development, strengthening Public-Private Partnership and engagement of the private sector, under the principle of human security. Prime Minister Abe also expressed his expectation for President Mugabe's contribution to TICAD VI. Responding to Prime Minister Abe's invitation, President Mugabe highly appreciated Japan's contribution and stated that he would attend TICAD VI.

11.Reaffirming that the United Nations Security Council does not fully reflect the realities of the international community in the 21st century, both leaders shared the recognition that the reform of the Security Council should be expeditiously advanced to improve its effectiveness, transparency and representativeness and that such reform is long overdue. The two leaders emphasized the importance of building upon the recent developments in the Intergovernmental Negotiations and to move the process forward including through increased interactions and consultations. The two leaders also reaffirmed the importance of the United Nations General Assembly as the most representative organ of the United Nations.

12.Prime Minister Abe and President Mugabe acknowledged the need to enhance their cooperation for addressing broad challenges in international fora such as climate change, countering terrorism and implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The two leaders also noted their contributions to peacekeeping operations, and concurred on the need for redoubled efforts to promote peace in the world.

Conclusion

13.President Mugabe expressed his appreciation to Prime Minister Abe and the Government of Japan for the warm hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. President Mugabe wished Prime Minister Abe success in hosting the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.