Japan seeks to deepen ties

Source: Japan seeks to deepen ties | The Herald

Japan seeks to deepen ties
Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda welcomes Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Satoshi Tanaka at Parliament Building in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Memory Mangombe

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter

Japan will continue to provide assistance to Zimbabwe in all facets of the economy to ensure mutual benefit and development in a sustainable manner, the country’s Ambassador to Harare, Mr Satoshi Tanaka has said.

He said the two countries should not only enhance cooperation at Government-to-Government level, but also at business level.

Ambassador Tanaka said this yesterday after paying a courtesy call on Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda.

“We had a very good fruitful discussion with the Speaker,” he said.

“As you know, Zimbabwe and Japan have a very long standing relationship. For instance we have been supporting Zimbabwe through the economic cooperation projects including irrigation, health, education and road rehabilitation and others.

“We need to continue supporting sustainable development in Zimbabwe.”

“But the Speaker emphasised that it should not just be Government-to-Government cooperation, but also said people-to-people cooperation is very important.

“I totally agree with that and I also feel that business-to-business relations are important, we can further deepen our relations. The Speaker said that there were plans to send people to Japan, but some factors prevented them from doing so, but we feel it may be really good to realise that at some future date.

“There are a lot of promising areas, of course, the major areas are mining, agriculture and tourism. There is space for cooperation for these sectors and also other sectors like social sectors.”

Adv Mudenda described his discussion with Ambassador Tanaka as a fruitful engagement.

“Our discussions were fruitful and excellent going forward,” said Adv Mudenda.

Japan has bankrolled several developmental projects over the years through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

In May this year, President Mnangagwa commissioned the first phase of the upgraded Makuti Chirundu Road, covering 6,5 kilometres, financed through a US$21 million grant from the Japanese government, the project is as a result of the cordial relations the two countries share.

President Mnangagwa said the Marongora-Hellsgate section had become a death trap, leading to unnecessary loss of life, congestion and delays.

“The rehabilitation, widening, construction of climbing lanes and smoothening of sharp curves on this section, therefore, improves safety for the motoring public,” he said. “It also eases congestion and prevents delays.”

President Mnangagwa said sound economic growth was anchored on responsive infrastructure development.

The volume of economic cooperation between Zimbabwe and Japan from 1980 to 2020 amounts to about US$346 million, and US$627 million in grant aid, US$177 million in technical cooperation, which includes the acceptance of more than 2 000 trainees by Japan, dispatch of experts and research teams to Zimbabwe and activities of over 500 Japan Oversees Cooperation Volunteers.