Japan expects to spend around 1.
7 billion yen ($12 million) on a state funeral for assassinated former premier Shinzo Abe, the government said Tuesday, despite controversy over the plan.
Abe was shot dead on the campaign trail in July, and the government expects dozens of current and former heads of state to pay condolences at the September 27 service in Tokyo.
But recent polls show about half of the Japanese voters oppose the publicly funded event.
Security is expected to cost around 800 million yen, with another 600 million to be spent on hosting and 250 million for the ceremony, top government spokesman Hirozaku Matsuno said Tuesday.
“Delegates from more than 190 foreign (countries and regions) will likely participate,” he told reporters at a regular briefing.
The funeral will be held at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan, a venue used for concerts and sports events that also hosted Japan’s last state funeral for a former prime minister in 1967.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said the domestic and international accomplishments of Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, make a state ceremony appropriate.
But state funerals for former politicians are rare in Japan, and a weekend poll published Monday by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper found that 56 percent of voters oppose the event, against 38 percent in favour.
Other recent polls have shown similar levels of opposition, and Kishida has said he is ready to answer questions on the issue in parliament.
His government’s approval ratings have taken a hit in recent weeks, in part due to the funeral decision.
Some opponents are against spending public money on an event honouring a politician, while others think a state funeral effectively forces public mourning or minimises Abe’s nationalist views and alleged links to cronyism.
Abe’s accused killer, Tetsuya Yamagami, who is in custody, targeted the former leader believing he was linked to the Unification Church.
Yamagami’s mother reportedly made large donations to the church, which her son blamed for the family’s financial difficulties.
A small private funeral for Abe was held at a temple in Tokyo shortly after his death, with thousands of people gathering outside to lay flowers and offer respects.
President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, has said Japanese businesses should invest more in Africa, where investment opportunities and returns on investment were among the highest in the world.
This is made known in a statement from the Communication and External Relations Department of the AfDB in Abuja.
The AfDB president said this to participants at the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8), where 20 African heads of state attended from Aug. 27 to 28. Adesina commended the Japanese government and private sector for their strong support to Africa’s development.
He told Japanese businesses to assess Africa’s investment opportunities based on facts and evidence, and not on perceptions.
“In 2020, Moody’s Analytics performed a 10-year cumulative assessment of global infrastructure debt default rates, by region.
“It found that Africa was the region with the second lowest cumulative default rate, after the Middle East. “That is proof once again that infrastructure as an asset class in Africa is solid, secure, and profitable.
” He noted that African countries would require significant financial resources to cope with the impacts of Covid-19, accelerating climate change and Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“This is the time to strongly support the African Adaptation Acceleration Program to mobilise 25 billion dollars for climate adaptation for Africa, especially as we look forward to Cop-27 in Egypt,” Adesina said.
He added that the bank’s African Emergency Food Production Facility, launched in May, was providing 1.13 billion dollars for 24 countries in financing an expected 1.5 billion dollars for emergency food production.
Adesina thanked Japan for its contribution to the facility.
“I am delighted that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has provided additional co-financing of 518 million dollars to support the facility.
” He stressed that Japanese firms, which were bold in their investments in Africa, were those that were prospering.
He gave the example of Toyota Tsusho’s investment in automobile factories in South Africa, which had generated 8.5 billion dollars in revenues in March.
Others, he said, included Komatsu and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Citing Africa’s youth entrepreneurship and innovative skills, Adesina said: “Africa is home to a vibrant fintech ecosystem that is leading the continent’s digital revolution with the highest potential to lead the world.
“The continent is home to 576 fintech start-ups and they are run by young people.
” Adesina named other vital investment sectors, like the production of lithium batteries that power electric vehicles, agri-business and renewable energy, including hydro power, wind and geothermal sources.
Speaking through video, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, said Japan had achieved its goal of contributing 20 billion dollars to Africa within the private sector, a goal it had set at TICAD7 in 2019. Kishida also announced new commitments and said Japan “will provide co-financing of up to five billion dollars, together with the African Development Bank, in order to improve the lives of African people.
” Senegal’s President Macky Sall, said Japanese corporations had the “technological and financial capacity needed to set up partnerships in Africa in sectors such as infrastructure, transportation and housing.
” Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mrs Amina Mohammed, commended the foresight of Japan’s leadership in establishing TICAD in 1993. “Thanks to platforms such as TICAD, we already have the partnerships in place to respond to these challenges in solidarity.
” The African Union Commission’s Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, lauded Japan for its efforts to build African capacity through education and training.
Mahamat praised a Japanese initiative that had trained over 1000 young Africans in nutrition.
TICAD8 also included the signing ceremony for 91 Memoranda of Understanding that Japan’s government and businesses had agreed with African corporations or governments.
The pacts included projects across all five regions of Africa to develop human resource technical skills and green hydrogen, water desalination and geothermal solutions.
Japanese officials and business leaders, and heads of international organisations also took part in the conference.
TICAD, which takes place every three years, is organised by the government of Japan, the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme, the African Union Commission, and the World Bank.
Japanese companies should invest more in Africa, where investment opportunities and investment returns are among the highest in the world, the president of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, urged.
to the participants in the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8).
Adesina praised the Japanese government and the private sector for their strong support for Africa's development.
He told Japanese companies to assess Africa's investment opportunities based on facts and evidence, not perceptions.
The Bank's group head said: “In 2020, Moody's Analytics conducted a 10-year cumulative assessment of global infrastructure debt default rates, by region.
It found that Africa was the region with the second lowest cumulative default rate, after the Middle East. That is proof once again that infrastructure as an asset class in Africa is strong, secure and profitable.” Twenty African heads of state will attend the conference in the Tunisian capital of Tunis from August 27-28.
Also participating in the conference are Japanese officials and business leaders, and heads of international organizations.
Speaking by video link, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan had achieved its goal of contributing $20 billion to Africa within the private sector, a goal it had set for itself at TICAD7 in 2019.
Kishida also announced new commitments.
He said Japan "will provide co-financing of up to $5 billion, together with the African Development Bank, to improve the lives of Africans."
Senegalese President Macky Sall said Japanese corporations have the "technological and financial capacity to establish partnerships in Africa in sectors such as infrastructure, transport and housing."
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J.
Mohammed praised the foresight of Japan's leadership in establishing TICAD in 1993.
She warned of the magnitude of the challenges Africa currently faces, adding: “Thanks to platforms like TICAD, we already have the partnerships in place to respond to these challenges in solidarity.” African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat praised Japan for its efforts to build African capacity through education and training.
He praised a Japanese initiative that has trained more than 1,000 young Africans in nutrition.
The head of the African Development Bank said African countries would need significant financial resources to cope with the impacts of COVID-19, accelerating climate change and Russia's war in Ukraine.
“Now is the time to strongly support the African Adaptation Acceleration Program to mobilize $25 billion for climate adaptation in Africa, especially as we await COP-27 in Egypt,” Adesina said.
She said the Bank's African Emergency Food Production Fund, launched in May 2022, was providing $1.13 billion for 24 countries in financing an expected $1.5 billion for emergency food production.
The African Development Bank expedited approval of the facility to early 2022 to avert a potential food and fertilizer crisis stemming from the war in Ukraine.
Adesina thanked Japan for its contribution to the facility.
“I am delighted that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has provided an additional co-financing of $518 million to support the facility.” During a forum for the business community, Adesina named two areas in which he hoped to see Japan's greater engagement with Africa, namely bilateral trade and investment.
She said that Africa accounted for just 0.003% of Japan's $2 trillion in global foreign direct investment.
Adesina stressed that Japanese companies that were bold in their investments in Africa were the ones that prospered.
He gave the example of Toyota Tsusho's investment in auto factories in South Africa, which generated $8.5 billion in revenue in March 2022.
Others, he said, include Komatsu and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Citing Africa's youth, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, Adesina said: “Africa is home to a vibrant fintech ecosystem that is leading the digital revolution of the continent with the greatest potential to lead the world.
The continent is home to 576 fintech start-ups and they are run by young people.” Adesina named other vital investment sectors, including the production of lithium batteries that power electric vehicles, agribusiness and renewable energy, including hydroelectric, wind and geothermal sources.
TICAD8 also included the signing ceremony for 91 memorandums of understanding that the government and companies of Japan have agreed with African corporations or governments.
The pacts included projects in the five regions of Africa to develop technical skills in human resources and green hydrogen, water desalination and geothermal solutions.
Adesina held a bilateral meeting with the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Tanaka Akihito and the Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation Nobumitsu Hayashi.
He also attended a bilateral meeting with the leaders of Keidanren, a Japanese economic organization that represents companies and industry and regional associations.
The meetings focused on the need for closer cooperation on investment, including co-financing of key projects, trade and opportunities for Japan's private sector.
Discussions also covered the upcoming 16th replenishment of the African Development Fund, the concessional lending window of the African Development Bank Group.
TICAD, which takes place every three years, is organized by the Government of Japan, the United Nations, the United Nations Development Program, the African Union Commission and the World Bank.
Japan will use its place on the United Nations Security Council to push for an African seat on the top world body, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Sunday.
“Japan reiterates its determination to redress the historical injustice against Africa of not being represented through a permanent membership on the Security Council,” Kishida told the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Tunis.
“In order for the UN to work effectively for peace and stability there is an urgent need to strengthen the UN as a whole through Security Council reform,” he said.
The UN faces “a moment of truth,” he added.
Japan was among five countries elected in June to hold a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2023 and 2024.
Kishida, speaking over live video from Tokyo after testing positive for Covid-19 days earlier, reiterated a pledge announced on Saturday to invest some $30 billion in Africa over the next three years.
He also announced that Japan would appoint a special envoy to the Horn of Africa, where a long drought has prompted the UN’s weather agency to warn this week of an “unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe”.
Kishida said Japan would pump $8.
3 million into the troubled but gold-rich Liptako-Gourma tri-borders area between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso that has been ravaged by jihadist attacks in recent years.
The aid will aim to “develop good cooperation between residents and local authorities” and help improve administrative services for the area’s five million residents, he said.
The Japanese premier also promised aid to train police officers and support “fair and transparent” elections across the continent, pledging Japan’s support for the rule of law in Africa.
The UN Security Council is made up of 15 members, five of whom are permanent and have veto-wielding power: the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain.
The other ten positions are filled by other countries for two-year stints, five of which are announced each year.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Saturday pledged $30 billion over three years for Africa in a virtual address to a development conference in Tunis aiming to counter China’s growing continental influence.
The eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) takes place amid a “complex” international environment caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the Japanese foreign ministry said.
Host country Tunisia is among the countries bearing the brunt of global supply chain disruptions and price spikes unleashed by these two factors, since it is heavily import dependent and is not an energy player.
In his opening speech, Tunisian President Kais Saied urged delegates to “search together for ways for African peoples to achieve the hopes and dreams of the first generation after independence”.
Praising Japan’s strong track record of development and “preserving” its culture, he said that “the world cannot continue as it was.
With all its wealth and assets, Africa cannot watch its people live through poverty.
”Kishida, speaking over live video from Tokyo after testing positive for Covid-19 days earlier, pledged that “Japan will invest both public and private funds worth $30 billion over the next three years” across Africa.
“To improve the lives of Africans, we will provide up to $5 billion in co-financing with the African Development Bank,” he said.
The pledge come as China cements its influence on the continent with its “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative, and as experts express concern about the long-term sustainability of some African nations’ borrowing from Beijing.
Rabat-Tunis tensions Japan’s initiative “includes up to $1 billion in a new special quota to be established by Japan to promote debt consolidation reforms” in Africa, the Japanese premier said.
He also pledged $300 million in co-financing with the African Development Bank to boost food production, vowing to help African countries weather grain shortages caused by the war in Ukraine, a major wheat producer.
Senegalese President Macky Sall, the current chairman of the African Union, paid tribute to Africa’s “partnership” with Japan, praising “concrete results in the agriculture, health, education and water” sectors.
He also urged a suspension of interest on debt owed to G20 countries, calling for a seat for the continent at the next G20 summit.
On the eve of TICAD, Morocco withdrew from the event and recalled its ambassador from Tunisia for consultations, after Saied hosted the head of Western Sahara’s Polisario secessionist movement.
Tunis in turn said it would recall its own ambassador from Rabat, pointing to its “total neutrality” on Western Sahara, a territory Rabat sees as an integral part of Morocco.
Sall said he “regrets Morocco’s absence”, expressing hopes for a solution to the disagreement.
It is the first TICAD — held every three years either in Japan or an African country — since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The Japanese delegation is led by Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, with about 5,000 participants set to attend.
Among those are 48 representatives of African countries, including at least 20 heads of state or government, according to Tunisian diplomatic sources.
A slick promotional video said the conference aims to promote “African development led by African people”.
But no journalists from African news outlets were given access to delegates ahead of the event, except Tunisian state media, alongside Japanese journalists.
The conference has sparked anger among Tunisians as major road closures threatened traffic disruptions in the capital.
Authorities spruced up parts of the city likely to be seen by delegates and dug in roadside plants, but these efforts also drew ire from social media users.
“I feel deeply insulted by the clean-up of Tunis for the TICAD,” one Tunisian wrote on Twitter, arguing that “those we pay to make our lives easier” should instead focus on making the capital livable for citizens all year round.
Japan is considering extending the operating life of its nuclear power stations along with designing and building a new generation of nuclear plants, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Wednesday.
The announcement signalled a sharp turn away from the previous official policy of not adding to its fleet of nuclear power stations in a country subject to considerable seismic activity.
Existing power stations were to be allowed to operate for more than 60 years.
A decision on the new policy is to be taken by the end of the year.
Japan introduced stricter safety standards following a huge offshore earthquake and resultant tsunami that shut down the Fukushima nuclear power station in 2011. A basic limit of 40 years’ operating life was imposed, although continued operation for a further 20 years was permitted, provided that stricter safety measures would be taken.
To date, 17 reactors have complied with these stricter regulations, with 10 of them having started producing power.
Everything was being done to restart the remaining seven, Kishida said.
Japan, which has the world’s third-largest economy, has set the target of generating between 20 per cent and 22 per cent of its electricity with nuclear power by 2030. It would still be lower than pre-Fukushima levels.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday sent a message of sympathy to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida over the latter’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
In his message, Xi said that upon learning of Kishida’s infection with the virus, he would like to extend his sincere sympathy to the prime minister, and wish him a speedy recovery.
Xi noted that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalisation of China-Japan diplomatic relations.
The Chinese president said he would like to work with Kishida to promote the building of China-Japan relations that meet the needs of the new era.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also sent a message to Kishida to express his sympathy on the same day.
Japanese Prime Minister, tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced on Sunday.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida began working remotely Monday after testing positive for COVID-19 a day earlier, the government’s top spokesperson said.
According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, Kishida, 65, is only displaying mild symptoms of the virus and was able to attend a meeting remotely from his official residence on Monday morning.
Matsuno said plans were being made so that the Japanese leader can take part in as many upcoming events as possible, by virtual and other means.
The Japanese prime minister has to isolate until Aug. 30, Matsuno said.
One such event Kishida may be able to take part in virtually was the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), to be held in Tunisia on Aug. 27 and 28. Kishida’s planned visit to the Middle East after TICAD was likely to be cancelled, government sources said.
Kishida received his fourth COVID-19 vaccination shot on Aug. 12, just before the beginning of his summer vacation on Aug. 15. After playing golf with his family in Ibaraki Prefecture on Tuesday, he stayed with his family at a hot spring inn in Shizuoka Prefecture on Wednesday.
The following day they took in some sights in Shizuoka, according to local accounts.
He started showing symptoms of the virus on Saturday night after returning to his residence in Tokyo on Friday afternoon and tested positive for the virus on Sunday.
Kishida was due to return to work on Monday.
His symptoms included a mild fever and a cough, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Japan is currently in the grip of the seventh wave of COVID-19 infections and reported record daily cases on Friday as the BA.
5 Omicron subvariant of the virus continues to run rampant nationwide.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has tested positive for Covid-19, his office said Sunday, a week before the leader was expected to attend an African development conference in Tunisia.
Kishida took a PCR test “after experiencing a mild temperature and a cough” from Saturday evening, an official from the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan told AFP.
Reports in local media including public broadcaster NHK said he may now attend the August 27-28 Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) remotely.
Japan has logged record Covid-19 cases in recent days, although its total death toll from the disease is far lower than many other countries, at 36,780.
The 65-year-old Kishida, who took office in October, had his fourth vaccine shot earlier this month.
He has been on holiday with his family and was due to return to work on Monday.
Japan has never imposed a strict lockdown, and anti-infection measures mainly targeting bar and restaurant opening hours were lifted in March across the country.
The nation’s borders have partially reopened although tourists are still banned unless they are on organised group trips.
Tokyo has partnered with African countries since 1993 to hold TICAD around every five years.
At the upcoming meeting, Japan will strongly support “African-led development” with a focus on economy, society, and peace and stability, a Japanese foreign ministry briefing document said.
Japan would also contribute to enhancing food security in Africa to address the food crisis which had worsened due to the situation in Ukraine, the document said.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno announced on Wednesday the composition of the new government led by Prime Minister Funio Kishida following the anticipated reshuffle.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida secured the current post at his second attempt and has navigated Japan through what he described as “historic” challenges posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Russia’s war against Ukraine for the past 10 months in office.
Hirokazu Matsuno has been appointed as Education Minister.
He has placed priority on education issues during his political career.
Harvard-educated Yoshimasa Hayashi, retained as foreign minister and belonging to a ruling Liberal Democratic Party faction led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, is touted as a potential candidate for Japan’s future leader, Kyodo News reported.
Yasutoshi Nishimura, the new minister of economy, trade and industry, is known for having played a key role in Japan’s fight against the novel coronavirus as a member of the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. A former official at what is now the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Nishimura has also served as economic revitalization minister.
He is a senior member of the Liberal Democratic Party’s largest faction once led by the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Nishimura, 59, a seven-term House of Representatives member from Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, ran in an LDP presidential race in 2009, when the party was not in power.
But he was defeated by Sadakazu Tanigaki, a former finance minister.
Shunichi Suzuki, retained as finance minister, has built good relations with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as he backed Kishida in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential race in 2021. New Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, a 10th-term House of Representatives member who is versed in security policies, returned to the post that he held for about a year until September 2009. Tetsuro Nomura, appointed as minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in his first Cabinet post, is an expert on agricultural policy with around 35 years of experience at a farming cooperative.
Akihiro Nishimura, the new environment minister, is a six-term House of Representatives member who served as a deputy chief Cabinet secretary under slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Tetsuo Saito, retained as transport minister, is the deputy leader of the Komeito party, the junior coalition partner of the Liberal Democratic Party, and known for being one of the most avid train enthusiasts in the political circle.
Originally, the government reshuffle was supposed to be carried out in early September, but Prime Minister Fumio Kishida decided to expedite the process as he wanted to accelerate the promotion of his economic concept of “new capitalism,” and take action due to rising food and fuel prices.
It is the first reform since the ruling alliance, which is led by the LDP, won resoundingly on July 10 in the election for the House of Councillors.
The work will start on drafting the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, reported Kyodo News. Among other priorities for the government is to bolster the country’s security and decide by how much defence spending should be increased.
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