US said it would press Japan not to invite Mugabe to Tokyo


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The United States embassy in Tokyo said it would press the Japanese government not to invite President Robert Mugabe to the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).

This was going to be a mammoth task because Japan said it invited governments and not individuals so if Zimbabwe selected Mugabe there was nothing that the Japanese government could do.

The embassy also admitted that Japan was pushing to engage Africa as it was now playing catch-up to China.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08TOKYO97, FM KOUMURA VISITS TANZANIA, TALKS ECONOMICS AND

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

08TOKYO97

2008-01-11 06:59

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Tokyo

VZCZCXRO9482

PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNH

DE RUEHKO #0097 0110659

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 110659Z JAN 08

FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0899

INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1050

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1326

RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 0262

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1941

RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2064

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0486

RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 9599

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 5941

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2038

RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7118

RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 5417

RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 7811

RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 9082

RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 6033

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7777

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 6849

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 3224

C O N F I D E N T I A L TOKYO 000097

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/10/2018

TAGS: EAID ECON JA PGOV PREL AF

SUBJECT: FM KOUMURA VISITS TANZANIA, TALKS ECONOMICS AND

TICAD

 

 

Classified By: CDA Joseph R. Donovan; Reasons: 1.4 (b/d)

 

1. (C) Summary. In an effort to highlight Japan’s relations

with Africa while shoring up support for the May 2008 Tokyo

International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV),

Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura visited Tanzania January

4-7 (after scaling back plans to visit Kenya as well).   The

FM won Tanzania’s pledge to attend TICAD IV, expressed

concern about the ongoing unrest in Kenya and pledged

Japanese support for Tanzanian efforts to create a dialogue

between Kenyan President Kibaki and the opposition. Koumura

and his counterpart also inked grant agreements for budget

support and food assistance, and the Tanzanians declared

their support for Japan’s UN Security Council seat. Our MOFA

Africa contact reiterated that TICAD invitations were sent to

governments, not individual leaders, and that Japan would not

put restrictions on Robert Mugabe’s participation. End

Summary.

 

2. (C) FM Koumura’s January 4-7 visit was primarily focused

on economic aid and development issues and included a

Japanese pledge to help Tanzania with budgetary issues and

food assistance, MOFA Africa II Division official Osamu

Sakashita told Embassy Tokyo January 10. While Koumura had

also planned to visit Kenya, the recent unrest forced the

Japanese to adjust the FM’s schedule. During bilateral

discussions, the Tanzanians underscored their need for

infrastructure-oriented development assistance. To that end,

Koumura pledged to send a senior Japan International

Cooperation Agency (JICA) economic expert to meet with

President Kikwete to discuss their budgetary issues.

 

3. (C) Regarding Koumura’s discussions on Kenya, Sakashita

reported that Koumura’s interlocutors told him that that “all

parties involved in the Kenyan political structure” have sent

representatives to Dar-Es-Salaam. Furthermore, President

Kikwete is in “close contact” with those parties. For his

part, Koumura expressed the Government of Japan’s hope that

Tanzania can serve a useful role in brokering an end to the

Kenyan violence.

 

4. (C) According to Sakashita, the Tanzanian government

declared their support for Japanese efforts to gain a seat on

the Security Council. Similarly, the Tanzanians were

“supportive” of the Japanese stance against North Korea on

the nuclear issue and abductions.

 

5. (C) President Kikwete told Koumura that Tanzania plans to

attend the May 28 – 30 Fourth Tokyo International Conference

on African Development (TICAD IV. Septel). Sakashita added

that the Japanese have confirmations from more than 30

countries that they will send their heads of state to the

conference. He emphasized that the invitations were sent to

the governments of the respective countries, not to

individuals, and if leaders like Robert Mugabe are selected

to come to the TICAD, the Japanese will not restrict their

participation (Septel). Beyond those 30 declarations,

Sakashita said he expects other countries to send

ministerial-level attendees. He also asked that donors,

including the U.S. Government, to give a “head’s up” to the

Japanese if any new initiatives are going to be announced at

the TICAD.

 

6. (C) Comment. Koumura’s trip is indicative of the push the

Japanese are making to engage Africa as the TICAD approaches,

and follows, for example, their recent effort to secure rare

metals from South Africa by pledging World Cup-related

assistance. That said, there is still the perception here

that Japan is playing catch-up to the Chinese, an image that

the Japanese hope to erase with a successful – and

well-attended – TICAD. We will continue to press the Japanese

at all levels regarding Mugabe’s invitation to the forum.

DONOVAN

 

(10 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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