• Kyodo

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Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Thursday he will visit Tanzania and Kenya from Friday in the hope of strengthening ties with the east African countries, whose consumer markets are expected to grow sharply.

Motegi is expected to meet with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and other key officials to discuss ways to create an environment that will encourage Japanese companies to invest in the two countries, according to industry ministry officials.

“The two countries have infrastructure demand, a strong desire to develop resources and are expected to see a sharp growth in their consumption markets,” Motegi told a press conference “I hope to strengthen relations between Japan and the two countries.”

The minister noted that his schedule could be affected by a large fire that broke out at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi early Wednesday. If all goes according to plan, he will return to Japan on Tuesday.

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