Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Friday he plans to visit a total of eight African and Latin American countries in January to strengthen bilateral business ties and cooperate in realizing a “free and open” international order.
“I hope to strengthen bilateral ties and agree on coordination over (realizing) the ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific,'” Motegi told a news conference, referring to a vision Japan pushes to promote the rule of law, freedom of navigation, free trade and democracy.
Motegi said he plans to travel to Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Senegal, Nigeria and Kenya from Jan. 4 to 14 for meetings with his counterparts and leaders.
He will become the first Japanese minister to visit Latin America since the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. It will be his second trip to Africa after traveling to Tunisia, Mozambique, South Africa and Mauritius earlier this month.
Motegi said plans to visit Nigeria are subject to change, noting that the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that a new variant of the novel coronavirus seems to have emerged in the West African country.
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