The Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived in Accra on Monday afternoon for a day’s visit to Ghana.
He will hold bilateral talks with President Akufo-Addo on Monday evening.
In a pre-departure towards Accra statement, the Japanese PM said it was a great pleasure to be able to visit Ghana, which plays a pivotal role in West Africa.
This is the first visit by a Japanese Prime Minister to Ghana in 17 years.
Kishida was in Egypt before moving to Ghana. He is expected to travel to Kenya and Mozambique, before returning to his homeland with a transit through the South Asian city-state, Singapore.
It is a trip organized in view of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, under the Japanese presidency, to strengthen ties with the “global South” and gather international solidarity in support of Ukraine
Kishida is scheduled to meet with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Kenyan William Ruto and Mozambican Filipe Jacinto Nyusi as well as his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong.
“Starting next week, I will be visiting Ghana. It is a great pleasure to be able to visit this country, which plays a pivotal role in West Africa.
“I am very delighted to be able to finally return to Ghana as the Prime Minister of Japan, after overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The international community is now at a historic turning point. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has had a major impact on Africa, including a food crisis and soaring fertiliser prices.
“In addition, cooperation among the international community is even more crucial to effectively address various challenges facing the international community, such as climate change, energy, and opaque and unfair development finance.
“As both Japan and Ghana currently serve as members of the United Nations Security Council, and as the two countries work together as important partners that share values and principles such as democracy and the rule of law, I look forward to having a frank discussion with President Akufo-Addo,” PM Kishida emphasised.
The visit is also to offer the Prime Minister opportunity to further deepen the strong economic relationships between Ghana and Japan as well as further promote business and investments with Ghana, one of the leading economic centres in West Africa.
“Based on the belief that quality infrastructure development is the foundation for revitalising economic activities, Japan has been supporting infrastructure such as roads to improve Ghana’s connectivity to this date.
“Japan has high hopes for Ghana, which hosts the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), to play a role as a standard-bearer in promoting regional integration and trade facilitation. We are determined to cooperate more closely with Ghana in the future,” he pointed out.
He expressed Japan’s continuous support for Ghana’s infrastructure development in areas of roads and healthcare, acknowledging the contribution of Noguchi Memorial Institute to Ghana.
“The development of Ghana-Japan relations cannot be discussed without acknowledging the achievements of Dr Hideyo Noguchi.
“The healthcare sector is an important area for both countries, and we are pleased that Japan is contributing to the health and medical fields in Ghana and the West African region through the establishment of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and technical cooperation through the institute.
“In particular, the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, which was established following the Prime Minister Koizumi’s visit to Ghana in 2006, have recognised individuals who have made outstanding achievements in medical research and medical activities in combating infectious diseases and other illnesses in Africa including Ghana.
“This prize has contributed to the improvement of health and welfare in Africa as a whole. With a view to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), we will continue to contribute to the improvement in the health sector in Africa and the world.”
He expressed the need for nations to uphold the International order based on the rule of law in ensuring peace and stability is the cornerstone of growth
in the face of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which shakes the very foundations of the international order.
He is expected to reaffirm Japan’s close collaboration with Ghana, which is playing a leading role in maintaining peace and stability in the region through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Accra Initiative.