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Parliamentary Vice Minister Isozaki Visited South Africa, Belgium, and Germany

From February 3 (Mon) to 9 (Sun), 2014, Mr. Yoshihiko Isozaki, Parliamentary Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited the Republic of South Africa, the Kingdom of Belgium, and the Federal Republic of Germany.

In South Africa, Parliamentary Vice Minister Isozaki attended the Mining Indaba Investment Discovery Forum, a meeting concerning mining investment in Africa, aiming to further strengthen ties between Japan and African countries in the fields of resources and energy. At the meeting, he introduced Japan’s efforts in those fields, and also held talks with ministers in charge of mineral resources from participating countries.

In Belgium, he exchanged views with business representatives from European industries, regarding the strengthening of the economic relationship between Japan and Europe.

In Frankfurt, Germany, he attended Ambiente 2014, the world’s largest international trade fair for consumer goods, and promoted sales activities of Japanese products as one of Japan’s top government officials under the “Cool Japan” initiative. At the same time, he also exchanged views with H.E. Mr. Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, concerning the promotion of the Japan-EU EPA and other issues.

1. South Africa

1) Attending the Mining Indaba Investment Discovery Forum

Parliamentary Vice Minister Isozaki attended Mining Indaba, the world’s largest meeting for mining investment in Africa, in Cape Town, South Africa, and delivered a speech concerning Japan’s efforts for further enhancing relationships between Japan and African countries in the fields of resources and energy.

Note: The term “indaba” refers to a meeting for discussing important issues in Zulu, a language of an indigenous people of a region Africa. The meeting marks the 20th annual event.

2) Outline of the speech

At the Mining Indaba meeting, he delivered a speech before an audience of about 130 people, consisting of government officials and investors from African, European, American and Asian countries, and emphasized the fact that Japan’s basic policies, namely [i] consistent investment, [ii] technology transfer and human resource fostering, [iii] sustainable resource development in an environmentally-friendly manner, and [iv] symbiotic relationships with local communities, are formulated to focus on measures for supporting Africa not from a short term perspective but from a mid- to long-term one.


Photo of the speech [i]

Photo of the speech [ii]

3) Meetings with ministers in charge of mineral resources in African countries

Concerning the following issues, Parliamentary Vice Minister Isozaki exchanged views with ministers in charge of mineral resources from six African countries:

  1. Explaining the progress made in achieving “Japan’s Initiatives for Promotion of African Resources Development,” which METI Minister Toshimitsu Motegi established at the Japan-Africa Ministerial Meeting for Resources Development in May 2013;
  2. Requesting cooperation in the second Japan-Africa Ministerial Meeting for Resources Development, scheduled for 2015;
  3. Requesting cooperation in independent resource projects, in which Japanese affiliate companies are involved; and
  4. Promoting the project for human resource development at the JOGMEC Geological Remote Sensing Centre in Botswana, as well as a cooperation project, called the JOGMEC Seminar on Exploration and Environmental Conservation on Mine Sites, which is going to be held by JOGMEC in Cape Town, on this occasion of the Mining Indaba meeting.
Ministers with whom Parliamentary Vice Minister Isozaki held meetings (in chronological order):
Republic of South Africa; H.E. Ms. Susan Shabangu, Minister of Mineral Resources
Republic of Zambia: H.E. Mr. Christopher Yaluma, Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development
Republic of Mozambique: H.E. Mr. Abdul Razak Noormahomed, Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources
Republic of Madagascar: H.E. Ms. Tolotrandry Rajo Daniella Randriafeno, Minister of Mines
Republic of Botswana: H.E. Mr. Onkokame Kitso Mokaila, Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources
Republic of Zimbabwe: H.E. Mr. Walter Chidhakwa, Minister of Mines and Mining Development

Photo of the meeting with the representative from the Republic of South Africa

Photo of the meeting with the representative from the Republic of Zambia

2. Belgium

Parliamentary Vice Minister Isozaki participated in the meeting organized by the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission, and actively exchanged views with 19 representatives of industries from across Europe. At the meeting, participants were very interested in Japan’s economic policies as well as its specific measures for a closer economic relationship between Japan and the EU. Mr. Isozaki explained Japan’s current situation as follows: [i] Through Abenomics, Japan’s economic growth has reversed from “negative” to “positive” and Japan has significantly changed to the world’s most business-friendly country, which provides the best opportunity to develop the Japan-EU economic relationship [ii] To take advantage of this opportunity, it is necessary to reach the earliest possible conclusion of the on-going Japan-EU EPA negotiation and to further promotion of Japan-EU industrial cooperation. The participants agreed with his opinions.


Photo of the meeting with representatives of the European industry

3. Germany

1) Attending Ambiente 2014

Ambiente is the world’s largest annual international trade fair for consumer goods. In Ambiente 2014, Japan was selected as the first Asian partner country, on which the fair is to be focused. Considering the fair as a great opportunity for Japan to convey Japanese enterprises and culture to visitors, and as one of the top government officials, Parliamentary Vice Minister Isozaki presented a speech at the opening ceremony, calling participants’ attention to sales of Japanese products, aiming to further promote the Cool-Japan initiative.

In addition, he exchanged views with executive officers of Messe Frankfurt GmbH, an organizer of the fair, and requested that the company continue to secure better conditions under which Japanese enterprises are able to display their exhibitions. At the same time, both sides agreed that it is important to mutually support Japanese enterprises in order to develop their business overseas.


Photo of visiting the fair

Meeting with executive officers of Messe Frankfurt GmbH

2) Bilateral meeting with Parliamentary State Secretary Beckmeyer

Japan held a state affairs meeting concerning the Japan-Germany economic relationship for the first time in the third Merkel administration. Parliamentary State Secretary Beckmeyer showed his appreciation for Japan’s participation in Ambiente fair as well as his interest in Japanese enterprises’ cutting-edge technology. At the same time, he also expressed that Germany will support Japan’s participating in Ambiente 2015.

Concerning the Japan-EU EPA, Parliamentary State Secretary Beckmeyer welcomed Japan’s substantial achievement on non-tariff measures and stated that he anticipates Japan’s further work toward the review process by the EU side in April 2014. Finally, both sides agreed to further discuss issues concerning their cooperation in the fields of energy, SMEs and so on.


Photo of the meeting with Parliamentary State Secretary Beckmeyer

Release Date

February 10, 2014

Division in Charge

  • Mineral and Natural Resources Division, ANRE
  • Europe Division, Trade Policy Bureau, METI
  • Consumer Goods Office, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, METI
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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