The fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, Japan’s official channel to the continent, kicks off Saturday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe planning to pledge up to ¥3.2 trillion in total aid over the next five years.

The promise of additional financing comes as Japan seeks to increase its visibility in Africa, as Asian rivals like China already have a huge presence and India and South Korea seek to strengthen their own relations with the continent and tap its vast potential.

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