Kishida Leaves on Tour of Africa, Singapore

Tokyo, April 29 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida left Tokyo’s Haneda airport Saturday on a tour of four African nations and Singapore.

During his stays in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique, Kishida will meet with their leaders for discussions on the crisis in Ukraine and moves by China, which is increasing its influence over Africa, ahead of a summit of the Group of Seven major democracies in the western Japan city of Hiroshima on May 19-21.

Kishida also aims to boost Japan’s ties with each of the African countries and Singapore. He is scheduled to return home Friday.

“At a time when the international order is being shaken, I want to confirm cooperation with leaders of the major African nations and make use of the results (of the visits) at the G-7 summit,” Kishida told reporters at the airport. This is Kishida’s first trip to Africa since he took office in October 2021.

Among key agenda items at the G-7 summit, to be chaired by Kishida, are the rule of law and how to maintain and strengthen the international order in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s hegemonic moves.

However, some African countries are keeping a certain distance from the G-7 as well as from China and Russia.

Through the latest visits, Kishida hopes to bring Africa to the G-7’s side. The G-7 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States plus the European Union.

Japan, Ghana and Mozambique are currently serving as nonpermanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

Kishida is also expected to work on securing natural gas and other resources from Africa.

Kishida and the African leaders are likely to discuss regional challenges as well, including the situation in Sudan, where government forces and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group continue fighting.