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OSAKA — South Africa will open up a trade office in Osaka within three months, the country’s Minister of Trade and Industry announced Wednesday.

Alexander Erwin, who was visiting Osaka and Kansai business officials to promote Japanese investment in South Africa, said the new office would not be a full consulate, but would work closely with trade officials at the embassy in Tokyo. The office will be responsible for providing information on investment in South Africa, particularly in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors, Erwin said.

He said that since apartheid ended in 1994, trade with Japan has grown extensively. Japan is now South Africa’s third-largest trading partner, with nearly $500 million invested at present.

“Companies like Toyota and Mitsubishi are planning further investment, and we believe that a Kansai trade office will benefit those firms located here,” Erwin said.

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