On March 31st , Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe along with his wife Dr. Grace Mugabe will pay an official working visit to Japan.
With aim to boost relations among the two countries, the state visit will include a court luncheon in honour of the Mugabe family (hosted by The Emperor and Empress of Japan). It will also include meeting with the prime minister of the state, Mr. Shinzo Abe as well as hosting a dinner in their honour.
Japan and Zimbabwean relations have long-standing silent relationship, established in the dawn of Zimbabwe’s independence. The countries’ bilateral agreement are embossed with direct investment and trade particularly in the 1990’s (Japan has invested USD 3.4m in 1994, with loans amounting to 38 085m Yen and 43 061M Yen worth of grants). However, Japan’s relations can be defined as ‘inaudible’ upon global US and EU imposed sanctions of 2002.
A decade from imposed sanctions, Japan slowly created ties to boost economic relations with Zimbabwe, through a delegation meeting with Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengwegwi. According to Zimbabwe’s online publication Newsday, Mumbengwegwi stated that their silence towards economic relations created an assumption of undeclared sanction on Zimbabwe, however their visit created a shift in their relations.
Upon the close of last year, Chronicle reports that a $15 million was issued to Zimbabwe for the facilitation of the 674 Nyakomba irrigation scheme. A project introduced to create a long-term solution of boosting food security, empowering small-scale farmers and boosting the general agricultural economy.
Hopefully with this official visit a long-term mutually beneficial relationship will empower not only each country’s economic relations, but solve socio-economic issues for the betterment of their people.