Japanese foreign minister Motegi Toshimitsu went on a lightning four-country African tour last week. Confirmed only days before he embarked on the trip, he began in the North African country of Tunisia, which will host the Tokyo-led international conference on African development in 2022. Then he secured Mozambique’s support for Japan’s strategy of a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.

Motegi then visited our international relations & co-operation minister, Naledi Pandor, to affirm support for boosting postpandemic business ties between SA and Japan. The trip was completed with a visit to Mauritius to discuss issues arising from the Japanese freighter that ran aground and caused a disastrous oil spill in the waters surrounding the island nation in July...

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