Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has hailed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as the latter toured the Asian country.
Abe called Mugabe an “iconic” leader of Africa during discussions to strengthen their countries’ bilateral relations.
“I would like to express my heartfelt welcome to his Excellency, Mr. Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the greatest and most revered patriarch of Africa on his fifth visit to Japan,” Abe said during a news conference.
I would like to express my heartfelt welcome to his Excellency, Mr. Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the greatest and most revered patriarch of Africa on his fifth visit to Japan.
Japanese PM welcomes Robert Mugabe in push for African influence: Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe on Monday… https://t.co/gZCovJOB8L— Refugee News (@IntRefugeenews) March 29, 2016
The two countries agreed on issues including the need to reform the U.N. Security Council.
“Zimbabwe and Japan concur on the need to reform the United Nations Security Council. It is my sincere hope that global efforts will be redoubled to achieve a more inclusive and fully democratic United Nations Security Council,” Mugabe said.
Mugabe touted his country’s economic credentials adding that they were numerous opportunities for Japan in the South African country.
“Zimbabwe’s doors are open to Japanese investors and they should look forward to a mutually rewarding relationship with us,” he said.
Mugabe was invited by Abe to Japan to further diplomatic ties ahead of the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), which will be held in August in Kenya.
Japan is seeking to woo Zimbabwe away from the growing influence of China on the African continent.