What Happened: Japan will increase its private-sector investments in Africa to more than $20 billion over the next three years, according to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Kyodo News reported Aug. 28.
Why It Matters: Japan is looking to match Chinese efforts to gain a strong foothold in Africa through large-scale investments and take advantage of the continent's growing manufacturing sector. Tokyo is attempting to distinguish its approach from Beijing's strategy by emphasizing private partnerships over so-called Chinese "debt traps."
Background: Japan's investments in Africa have remained flat since 2014 despite growing overall Japanese investment abroad. Meanwhile, China has been significantly increasing its footprint on the continent, pledging $60 billion in investments in September 2018.
- Japan Woos a Region Caught Between the U.S. and China (May 13, 2019)
- Japan's Relationship With China Evokes Cold War Memories (Oct. 25, 2018)
- Japan Increases Its Investments in Africa (Feb. 17, 2014)