Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace, met with the Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Monday as he began his official visit to Japan.
The President and First Lady were invited by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to strengthen diplomatic ties ahead of the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) which will be held in August in Kenya.
A brief meeting at the Imperial palace was followed by a luncheon for Mugabe and Grace, with Emperor Akihito and his wife.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace are greeted by Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko… https://t.co/iqxM4UgBxv— Japan Today (@JapanToday) March 28, 2016
Mugabe is also expected to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for high-level talks and dinner.
Relations between the two nations nosedived a decade and half ago following the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe by the west.
TICAD is an initiative created in 1993 by the Japanese government, the United Nations Development Programme, the African Union Commission, and World Bank, to further develop Africa’s economy.