The importance of Japan/South Africa relations

As South Africa proceeds towards a negotiated political settlement, a better relationship between South Africa and Japan has become of prime importance. Relations between the countries have already been considerably strengthened. The policy of the Japanese Government towards South Africa has changed during the past year: Japan resumed contact with South Africa, lifted almost all economic restrictions, and re-established full diplomatic relations. President de Klerk’s visit to Japan symbolises the new relationship between Japan and South Africa, even though no concrete agreements were reached. The Japanese government and private sector are prepared to help South Africa, dependent upon domestic stability through the complete abolition of apartheid. The article discusses the Japanese work ethic, and examines which elements of it are relevant to South Africa. Japan is aware of the importance of assistance programmes for disadvantaged South Africans, and is committed to assist the country and willing to share knowledge and expertise, so that South Africa may reach its full potential.