March 31, 2016
JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka held talks with President Robert Gabriel Mugabe of Zimbabwe in Tokyo on March 29.
Mr. Kitaoka began by welcoming Mr. Mugabe to Japan and expressing his respect for the longstanding leadership Mr. Mugabe has shown in the development of Zimbabwe, his work as the chairman of the African Union until last year and his remarkable contribution to development within Africa. Mr. Mugabe responded with words of appreciation for Japan's long years of cooperation.
In the following talk, Mr. Kitaoka said the fact that Mr. Mugabe has frequently visited Japan since his first visit 25 years ago (most recently for the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, [TICAD V] in 2013 and for the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction in 2015) is an indication of the strong friendship that the two countries have developed . He added that this kind of friendship is the basis of Japan's philosophy of cooperation: an emphasis on learning from one another rather than one-sided assistance.
Furthermore, Mr. Kitaoka said 2016 is an important year for Japan, with TICAD VI slated to be held in Africa for the first time; scheduled for August in Kenya. Mr. Mugabe said he will do everything he can to make TICAD VI a success.
Finally, Mr. Mugabe said he hopes for further assistance from Japan that utilizes the country's advanced technology in such fields as agriculture. In response, Mr. Kitaoka said JICA will continue contributing to the socioeconomic development of Zimbabwe in such areas as irrigation development and road improvement.