Japan-Kenya Summit Meeting (Summary)
May 3, 2023
On May 3, commencing at 10:10 a.m. local time (4:10 p.m. Japan time) for approximately 100 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, who was on a visit to Kenya, held a summit meeting with H.E. Dr. William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya, followed by a joint press conference. The two leaders then had a working lunch from 12:40 p.m. (6:40 p.m. Japan time) for approximately 50 minutes. The summary of the meeting, press conference and working lunch is as follows.
(1) At the outset, President Ruto welcomed Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to Kenya for the first time in seven years. Noting the strong bilateral relations between Japan and Kenya that has been built over a long period of time, President Ruto expressed his desire to further develop the bilateral relations in various fields and to work closely with Japan in the international community. The President also said that he was encouraged by Prime Minister Kishida, who, as G7 Chair, makes efforts to hear voices and views from Africa.
(2) In response, Prime Minister Kishida stated the Japan-Kenya relations have significantly developed in economy, investment and various other fields, and that Japan, as G7 Chair, intends to strengthen its cooperation with Kenya, which contributes to the reginal stability, amid the increasingly complex international situations. Prime Minister Kishida also expressed his desire to further promote a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP),” advocated in Nairobi in 2016, as this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between Japan and Kenya.
2. Bilateral relations
(1) President Ruto expressed his appreciation that many projects are under way thanks to Japan’s support and his hope to further deepen such cooperation. Prime Minister Kishida stated that Kenya, which forms the core of East Africa’s largest economic zone, is home to some of the leading Japanese companies that have expanded into Africa, including Japanese startups seeking to solve social issues. Prime Minister Kishida also expressed Japanese Government’s desire to fully support the business development of Japanese companies and Kenya’s economic growth and job creation, thereby helping improve its business environment and human resource development.
(2) Prime Minister Kishida stated that as part of efforts to materialize the New Plan for a FOIP announced in March this year, it is important to ensure the steady implementation of various project plans in Mombasa, and expressed his hope for President Ruto’s leadership. Prime Minister Kishida also expressed Japan’s desire to continue to cooperate with Kenya on green growth, such as in the sectors of the development of geothermal power generation and solar power and green hydrogen, along with support in the agricultural sector aimed at addressing climate change and improving the lives of local residents. President Ruto expressed his appreciation for Japan’s support, and expressed his desire to work closely between the two countries in order to move forward these projects.
3. Cooperation in the international arena
(1) Prime Minister Kishida stated that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which is a unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force and a clear violation of international law, will never be accepted, and that Russia’s threat of nuclear weapons is absolutely intolerable, let alone their use. The two leaders agreed to work together for the promotion of the rule of law under such principles. In addition, Prime Minister Kishida stated that it is important for the international community to make concerted efforts to speak out to ensure that all countries concerned comply with international rules and standards regarding development finance. The two leaders also shared views regarding the importance of transparent and fair development finance.
(2) Prime Minister Kishida stated that the role and contribution of Kenya for the peace and stability of East Africa is extremely important, and that the two countries have long been engaged in human resource development in the PKO field and activities to deal with piracy off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. Prime Minister Kishida also expressed Japan’s desire to continue to make further efforts for the regional peace and stability. President Ruto expressed his appreciation for Japan’s contribution to peace and stability of the region, including provision of patrol and surveillance boats and training of crew members, under the New Plan for a FOIP.
(3) Prime Minister Kishida conveyed his grave concern over the situation in Sudan and his appreciation for Kenya’s initiative to offer to mediate. Prime Minister Kishida also stated that Japan, as G7 Chair and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, intends to call for an immediate ceasefire and other proactive initiatives through the involvement of Ambassador for the Horn of Africa. Furthermore, Prime Minister Kishida stated that, in order to respond to the worsening humanitarian situations in Sudan and its neighboring countries, Japan intends to urgently consider emergency humanitarian assistance in cooperation with the international community, and that the two leaders confirmed that they will work closely together.
(4) The two leaders also confirmed that they would continue to work closely together in various fields, such as North Korea, including the issue of its nuclear, missile programs, and the abductions issue, Indo-Pacific region, strengthening the functions of the United Nations and the reform of the Security Council, and climate change.