July 24, 2023
TOKYO – Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi plans to visit six Asian and African countries to strengthen cooperative ties with so-called Global South nations.
Speaking at a press conference Friday, Hayashi said the trip will take place from the end of this month into early August and include visits to India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia — all of which are deemed to be emerging and developing nations.
“To realize a free and open Indo-Pacific, we intend to strive even harder to strengthen ties with countries in southwest Asia and Africa,” Hayashi said.
While in India, Hayashi will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and is expected to deliver an address at the Japan-India Forum, with government officials and business leaders in attendance.
In economically unstable Sri Lanka, meanwhile, Hayashi will discuss the country’s debt problems.
Hayashi also aims to foster friendly ties with South Africa and Uganda — both of which are strongly pro-Russia — by deepening cooperation in the field of food security.
Hayashi’s trip will mark the first time for a sitting Japanese foreign minister to visit Uganda.