Japan, Kenya Agree to Boost Defense Cooperation

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japanese and Kenyan governments on Thursday exchanged documents on strengthening their defense cooperation.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Kenyan President William Ruto met at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo the same day, and reaffirmed their countries’ cooperation in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific.

At a joint press conference after the meeting, Kishida said, “Kenya is an important like-minded country that shares fundamental values and principles such as democracy and the rule of law… Cooperation (with the African country) is more important than ever.”

The Japanese leader announced fiscal reconstruction aid for Kenya, which is facing a worsening debt situation due to loans from China. The aid is aimed at countering China’s growing influence.

The two leaders affirmed the importance of rules-based, fair and transparent development finance.

Regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kishida and Ruto agreed to oppose unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force. They also agreed to work together to ensure food security in Africa.