• Kyodo

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The Japanese government said Thursday it will extend up to ¥20 billion in loans for road development in the Ugandan capital Kampala as part of Tokyo’s efforts to help boost the fast-growing African country’s economy.

The agreement on infrastructure development was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni after the leaders held talks in the Japanese capital.

“One of the things we have agreed on during our talks is to promote high-quality infrastructure. Our country will provide a boost to Uganda’s growth,” Abe said at a joint news conference with Museveni.

The president said he was grateful for Japan’s efforts so far on infrastructure and called for more Japanese investment, noting that Japan has “done good work in Uganda.”

The two leaders agreed to “encourage Japanese companies to do business in Uganda,” with Abe expressing his hope that Uganda’s business environment will make it more conducive for Japanese companies, according to a joint statement issued afterward.

The leaders also agreed to work together in ensuring the success of the next Tokyo International Conference on African Development to be held in Kenya in 2016, the statement said. The summit will be held in Africa for the first time.

Abe and Museveni also reaffirmed their cooperation in achieving U.N. Security Council reform, seeing that 2015 is an “improvement milestone to move forward” such reforms as the world body marks the 70th anniversary of its founding, according to the statement.

Abe and Museveni said they will push for reforming the Security Council to “increase its effectiveness, transparency and representativeness, reflecting the realities of the international society,” the statement read.

Abe has been pushing for Japan to become a permanent member of the Security Council. Securing the support of African nations is vital for Japan, which aims to increase the number of permanent members of the Security Council, given their number in the United Nations.

The Ugandan president said his country agrees with Japan on changing the current situation in which “a small group of countries (are) monopolizing decision making for the whole world.”

With Museveni president of Uganda for 29 years, making him one of the longest-serving leaders in Africa, Japanese officials say they hope that his remarks will have an influence on other African countries.

The two leaders last held talks in June 2013 on the sidelines of TICAD in Yokohama.

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