The Chairperson of the African Union Commission
Concludes visit to Japan
Addis Ababa, 05 August 2010--- The Chairperson of the African Union
Commission, Dr Jean Ping, has paid a three-day visit to Japan at the invitation of the
the Japanese Government. During the visit, which took place from 1 to 3 August
2010, Dr Ping was received by the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr Naoto Kan, who
welcomed the Chairperson's visit to Japan and stated that Japan is willing to further
strengthen the relationship between Japan and the African Union.
Prime Minister Kan further said that Japan will actively promote its cooperation with
Africa. In this connection, he affirmed that Japan will implement the official pledge
announced at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development
(TICAD IV) to double its official development assistance (ODA) to Africa. He expressed
the hope that the AUC will play an active role in the TICAD process as a new coorganizer.
In response, Chairperson Ping expressed his gratitude for the invitation to visit Japan
and for Japan's assistance to Africa. He said that the AUC is eager to actively cooperate
with Japan in various areas, including the TICAD process, and called for a strengthened
relationship between the African Union and Japan, particularly in the area of trade and
The two leaders shared their commitment to cooperate closely in tackling global issues,
such as, UN Security Council reform and climate change.
The Chairperson had a formal session and a working lunch with the Japanese Minister
of Foreign Affairs, Mr Katsuya Okada. They both exchanged views on ways and means
to further strengthen the cooperative relationship between the AU and Japan and issued
a joint communiqué to that effect.
As part of the visit, Dr Ping gave the keynote address at a symposium on 3 August
organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and co-sponsored by the Japanese
International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations University, at the
campus of the United Nations University in Tokyo, under the theme: "Present and
Future of African Integration―Towards a New Japan-Africa Relationship". In his
address, Chairperson Ping underscored the importance of Africa's regional integration.
"Africa's regional integration strategy has always been holistic. It aims to accelerate the
process of continental integration and promote Africa's economic development, while
also positioning the continent to efficiently meet the challenges of globalization and play
its appropriate role in the concert of nations." He declared.
Following Dr Ping's lecture, a panel of distinguished speakers expressed their views on
the future course of Africa and a new Japan-Africa relationship. Panelists included two
Commissioners from the African Union Commission in charge of Trade and Industry
and Human Resource, Science and Technology respectively, the Chief Executive
Officer of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, as well as representatives
from the African Diplomatic Corps and the Japanese business and academic
The Chairperson and his delegation also had a breakfast meeting with the African
Diplomatic Corps (ADC) made up of the thirty-six African countries with diplomatic
representations in Tokyo. The delegation had useful exchange of views especially on
how ADC would contribute to the Commission’s effective role as a co-organiser of
TICAD. The Chairperson commended ADC for being so well organized and for the
immense role it has played in furthering Africa\s relations with Japan.
The Chairperson gave several press interviews with leading Japanese daily
newspapers and magazines as well as radio and television. He and the delegation also
paid a brief visit to a Panasonic Centre where the company demonstrated some of its
latest developments and creation.
The Chairperson’s engagements also included a meeting with the Japanese Vice
Minister for Environment, the Vice President of JICA, and a working lunch with the Vice
Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also received three representatives of the Democratic
Party of Japan’s African Parliamentary Group.