ENTEBBE – President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday afternoon held bilateral talks with the visiting Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Yoshimasa Hayashi and his delegation at State House Entebbe.
The two leaders discussed how Japan can support Uganda specifically on value addition. It is here that Museveni encouraged Japanese investors to set up in Uganda, as opposed to importing raw materials which leaves Ugandans with less profits and benefits.
“This perennial hemorrhage that Africa is undergoing is responsible for Africa’s stunting due to our bankrupt planners, coupled with external parasites who manipulate, interfere politically and work with traitors to retard Africa,” Museveni said.
“I, therefore, welcome Japanese companies to come here. We are producing electric cars with Kiira Motors and have lithium so, what we need are the batteries. I am happy the Minister has taken this up and I thank them in advance,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the delegation was hosted by Gen Jeje Odongo – Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry Head Quarters in Kampala where strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries was the focal point.
Speaking to the media after the meeting at Serena Hotel, Mr Yoshimasa’s Press Secretary, Ms. ONO Hikariko said that the Japanese government attaches great importance to listening to the voices of African nations to elevate development.
“So this is part of diplomatic efforts to listen to the voices of African nations and also the reason why we decided to come to Uganda is of course to strengthen our partnership with the Uganda government.”
She noted that her country has decided to place more emphasis on investing in people but also to cooperate further in various fields for human resource development.
“So, when it comes to Uganda, we have already cooperated in various fields such as the construction of the Nile River Bridge, and vocational training, including the ICT sector for over 60 years. So, in the interest of cooperation, Uganda has been and always will be an important partner for Japan.”
Japan commended Uganda for her gesture on international issues especially when it comes to hosting the refugees.
Uganda’s Bidi Bidi settlement is currently the world’s largest refugee settlement, seated on more than 250 square kilometres of land.
“We very much appreciate the efforts of the Uganda government.”
The two ministers also affirmed that they would strengthen cooperation for assistance to refugees as the co-hosting countries of the 2nd Global Refugee Forum to be held in December this year.
Ms. ONO told the press that her boss also lauded Uganda for being enthusiastic about the UN Security Council reform.
The two leaders, she noted that also discussed the situation in Ukraine where the latest findings say that a large number of prisoners held in makeshift detention centres in Russian-occupied southern Ukraine were tortured and sexually violated.
Minister Hayashi appreciated Uganda’s efforts, noting that it is important to achieve a just and lasting peace in Ukraine as soon as possible. The two Ministers affirmed that they would cooperate to maintain the international order.
In addition, Minister Odongo explained the results of the Russian-Africa summit on July 27 and 28 and shared Uganda’s position that the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) is important for Africa and Uganda asked Russia to reconsider its position.
His Japanese counterpart noted that they deplore that BSGI was terminated by Russia’s refusal, and has a hope to work together towards the resumption of the initiative. The two ministers affirmed the need for both countries to cooperate to ensure food security in Africa.
Minister Yoshimasa also commended Ugandan Parliament for passing the resolution expressing gratitude for JICA’s support for the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2021.
His Uganda counterpart Minister Odongo thanked Japan for the support provided.
Hayashi also stated that he would like to strengthen bilateral cooperation to promote investment in Uganda, whose start-ups are attracting attention.
Odongo welcomed further support and investment from Japan and expressed his desire to continue to cooperate closely with Japan.
The two Ministers also exchanged views on such issues as the situation in Africa, including the situation in Niger and the situation in the eastern part of the DRC, and regional situation in East Asia, including responses to North Korea on the nuclear and missile issues as well as the abductions issue.
They also discussed responses to various issues in the international community, including uncertain and unfair development finance, the risk on economic security, nuclear disarmament and strengthening of the functions of the United Nations including Security Council reform. The two ministers affirmed that they would continue to work closely together.