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Published 1st June 2008

Vol 1 (AAC) No 8

Here comes Hokkaido

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Africa policy on aid and commerce is central to Tokyo's diplomatic overhaul this year, as regional rivalries grow

In many ways, the fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yokohama on 28-30 May was a dry run for Tokyo's Group of 8 summit in Hokkaido on 7-9 July. Much of the G8 agenda - climate change, global financial imbalances, food and fuel price crises as well as Africa policy - was rehearsed at TICAD IV. For Tokyo's diplomatic corps, the challenge was to prove that Japan could give a lead on Africa and climate change at the Hokkaido summit this year and into the future. Although it is still the world's second biggest economy in nominal terms - third, behind China, in terms of purchasing power parity - Japan punches well below its weight in the international system, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

The new order

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The times they are a-changing for Japan's bureaucrats

Behind the Yokohama summit scenery, Japanese civil servants continued with their reorganisation. Key to this is the Japan International Cooperation Agency under its President, Sa...

Civil society tiptoes in

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Japanese NGOs under pressure

From now on, Japan's non-governmental organisations will operate more like British NGOs such as Oxfam and Christian Aid, which manage substantial state aid funds. Local NGOs were...

The wealthy autocratic model

The city-state releases Africa's potential with skillful aid and trade

An island at the heart of Southeast Asia and a landlocked state in the heart of Africa are an unlikely couple. Singapore has skyscrapers and strict discipline, Rwanda has its gre...

Probing the Peacekeepers

The Indian government better hope that reports of their troops' misdeeds are unfounded

Three Indian officers'would not be spared' if they were found to have smuggled gold while serving with the United Nations in Congo-Kinshasa, India's Defence Minister A. K. Antony...

Singapore's Africa Team

The city-state has assembled a good squad of players in Africa

President S.R. Nathan: took office in 1997, and in April 2007 became the first Singaporean President to go to Africa, with state visits to South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, and ...

Glass Houses

The U.S. are reacting to the ever-increasing Chinese presence in Africa

Washington politicians are re-evaluating the significance for United States' policy in Africa in light of China's increasing engagement with the continent. On 4 June, the Senate ...

Unravelling the UN investigation

Indian troops based in the North Kivu province are being accused of an array of crimes

Confidential reports by the United Nations contain 44 allegations against the Indian battalion based in Congo-Kinshasa's North Kivu province and known as INDBATT. The main report...

Family feud

Telecoms companies are dreaming in Africa

South Africa's mobile telephone giant MTN risks losing its second Indian suitor as a schism in India's richest family could prevent the deal's signing. A merger between the US$38...


Ken Costa

Chairman for International Business, Lazard UK

The courtship by Sunil Mittal's Bharti Airtel of Cyril Ramaphosa's MTN hit the rocks in May. Enter the next ardent suitor: Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications. A marriage betw...

Jignesh Shah

Vice-Chairman, Multi Commodity Exchange

In late May, a deal was signed to create MCX Africa, a pan-African commodities exchange to be located in Gaborone, Botswana. The exchange is the brainchild of Jignesh Shah, a you...

Francisco Ou

Foreign Minister, Taiwan

Francisco Ou became Taiwan's Foreign Minister on 20 May, as the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party, KMT), in opposition for eight years, returned to executive power on the ba...

Chen Yuan

Governor, China Development Bank

p>Chen Yuan is one of the ’princelings’, as children of Mao Zedong’s revolutionary compatriots are known. His father, Chen Yi, was a key player in the Communist revolution, a membe...