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 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...
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...