Kagame, First Lady begin two-day official visit to Japan

President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame pay a courtesy call to Their Imperial Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan. / Village Urugwiro

President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame began a two-day official visit to Japan on Tuesday.

On the first day of their visit, the President and First Lady paid a courtesy call to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan. On the agenda are bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and First Lady Akie Abe.

Bilateral talks between President Kagame and Prime Minister Abe with their respective delegations will be concluded by the signing of an 'Exchange of Notes for the Project of Strengthening Nzove-Ntora Principal Water Transmission Pipeline in Kigali City'.

It is a grant agreement worth 3,191,000,000 Japanese Yen (USD 29,450,324.18), according to the statement.

The two leaders will also deliver press statements after which the President and First Lady will be hosted to a dinner by the Abe and the Japanese First Lady.

On the second day (Wednesday), the President is expected to address a Japan-Rwanda business forum and interact with the Japan-AU/Japan-Rwanda Parliamentary Friendship Leagues.

Rwanda and Japan already share bilateral relations with cooperation that spans economic, trade and investments, technical assistance and capacity building areas.

The Head of State’s visit to Japan follows a delegation of Japanese top business leaders who were in Rwanda in July last year to explore trade and investment opportunities.

The business executives represented firms including Toyota Tsusho, Hitachi High-Tech Group, Mitsubishi, Marubeni, Toshiba Africa, Shimizu, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, JETRO, and Fujita among others.

They were led by the country’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Manabu Horri.

Last year, Rwanda Development Board indicated that the number of Japanese investments in Rwanda had gone up from three to 19 companies in the last five years, with the portfolio expected to grow further going forward.

The previous year, Japanese firm DMM Group had acquired stakes in two leading tech firms in the country; AC Group and DMM HeHe.

READ ALSO: Japanese investors explore opportunities in Rwanda

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