Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Toshiyuki Iwado, yesterday paid a courtesy call on Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko at his Munhumutapa offices where the two leaders’ discussions centred on boosting economic ties.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Ambassador Iwado said they shared common concerns that centred on how the two parties could benefit from enhancing trade and the opening up of markets.
On agriculture, he said changing weather patterns called for Zimbabwe to come up with effective strategies to curb hunger such as irrigation schemes.
“This is my first courtesy call on the Acting President. We were just showing our priority in this country.
“Our top priority is to follow up on the joint statements signed by our Prime Minister (Shinzo Abe) and his Excellency President Mugabe last year,” he said.
“Obviously you will see economic cooperation and how the Japanese see the cooperation, especially in the field of human resource development and how we promote the exchanges between the two countries.
“Agriculture is one of the fields that we are really keen to cooperate with in this country and we have already started an irrigation project in Nyakomba worth $15 million. I heard the work on that project is ongoing and I do hope it finishes in due time. We exchanged some views on that because agriculture is affected by the natural weather.”
President Mugabe visited Tokyo in March last year, where he sealed vital economic agreements with the Asian economic giant.
His visit was followed by a Zimbabwean delegation that entered into trade agreement with the Japanese car makers, that would see over 500 new and reconditioned vehicles as well as 10 000 tractors being shipped here for sale to locals on credit.
Asked if there were plans to invest in the motor industry, Ambassador Iwado said: “The willingness is there on both sides.
“Part of my being here is to promote that willingness and make the willingness into real action.”