President Kagame met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. According to the Office of The President, the two leaders discussed ways of strengthening bilateral ties.
“This evening, President Kagame met with Prime Minister @kishida230 of Japan. They exchanged on ways to further strengthen existing bilateral cooperation including in sectors of climate change mitigation, infrastructure development & public-private investments,” the official tweet about the meeting reads.
On the Rwanda side, the meeting was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta, and the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, among other officials.
The diplomatic relationship between Japan and Rwanda dates back to 1962, the year Rwanda gained independence. In this earliest era, a Japanese banker, Masaya Hattori, became the first Governor of the Central Bank of Rwanda upon the request of IMF (International Monetary Fund).
Hattori devoted himself to increasing and diversifying agricultural production as well as establishing its trading system. His contribution has always been a milestone in the history of Japan’s engagement in the development of Rwanda. President Kagame has visited Japan three times under the TICAD arrangement.
Japan opened an embassy in Kigali in 2010 while the Asian nation is one of Rwanda’s development partners, offering loans, grants, and technical cooperation over the past decades.
In 2020, Japan realized was among the countries that supported Rwanda in the fight against COVID-19, providing medical equipment to hospitals and laboratories in Kigali and all four provinces of Rwanda in a bid to strengthen the country’s health system. Japan provides technical support to Rwanda through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Presdent Kagame is in Indonesia to attend the G20 Summit which is themed “Recover Together, Recover Stronger,”. The two-day summit is hosted by the Indonesian G20 presidency and will discuss the three priorities of Indonesia’s G20 presidency; Global health architecture, digital transformations, and sustainable energy transitions.
President Kagame is attending the Summit in his capacity as the Chair of the African Union Development Agency, AUDA-NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee.
Over the last one year, G20 focused on the global COVID-19 pandemic and how to collectively overcome its related challenges.