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3 Aug, 2023 13:04

Japan cannot compete for influence in Africa, analyst tells RT

Tokyo is the “America of Asia” and has been on the “wrong side of history in terms of people’s freedom,” Jackie Shandu has told RT
Japan cannot compete for influence in Africa, analyst tells RT

Japan and Western countries seeking to sway African perceptions of China, have “no chance” of competing for influence on the continent, independent analyst Jackie Shandu has told RT.

Shandu was reacting to visits by Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to Africa this week, which followed the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg.

The UK foreign secretary started his three-nation tour of the continent on Monday, visiting Ghana and Nigeria, and is expected to conclude his visit in Zambia on Thursday.

Britain said Cleverly's visit aimed to strengthen "future-focused, mutually beneficial" partnerships with African nations, while state broadcaster BBC said it was part of a mission to counter the growing influence of Russia and China.

In a speech on Tuesday in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, Cleverly accused Russia of reaching a "new low" by "deliberately burning food stocks" while millions of people around the world struggle to eat.

He said Britain recognizes the critical role that African countries will play in determining the "future of the international order," which is why it is seeking to "renew old friendships and forge new ones."

Meanwhile, Cleverly's Japanese counterpart began his African tour on Tuesday, visiting key Russian partners South Africa, Uganda, and Ethiopia to strengthen bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, and energy.

According to a recent report on the African Development Bank's website, the continent accounts for only 0.003% of Japan's $2 trillion in global foreign direct investment. It also indicated that the volume of exports and imports between Africa and Tokyo remains less than 2%.

In an interview with RT on Wednesday, Shandu insisted that it was impossible for Japan to compete with China in terms of investment on the African continent.

"China has been in Africa for a very long time" and has made lucrative investments, he said, adding that Japan has "[no] chance of conquering" Beijing’s economic influence or of changing the perception of China in the region.

“Japan has, in the main, aligned itself with the enemies of Africa and the oppressors of Africa and with the people and countries who are hell bent on keeping Africa poor, exploited and underdeveloped.”

Shandu described Japan as the "America of Asia," saying it has "always been on the wrong side of history in terms of people's freedom."