STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
VISITING Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shunsuke Takei says Zambia is key in the region because it brokers peace and hosts refugees.
Mr Takei has also commended Zambia for integrating refugees in the local communities.
He was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba at the latter’s office.
“Zambia contributes to the peace of the region, and Japan is happy with our investment treaty that will see a number of Japanese companies coming to invest, especially in the construction industry,” Mr Takei said.
He said the interactions of officials from Japan and Zambia will deepen the bilateral relations that already exist between the two nations.
And Mr Kalaba said Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) has played a pivotal role in Zambia’s quest for development.
“Your visit will further strengthen our already existing cordial relations and President Lungu is eagerly looking forward to receiving you tomorrow [today],” Mr Kalaba said.
He said Zambia is ready to commence negotiations for the Zambia-Japan Treaty by next month.
Mr Kalaba commended JICA for its role in various sectors of Zambia’s development agenda.
And Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo, who was present at the meeting, said Zambia has placed a premium on skills development.
Professor Luo said it is only through skills development that even Japan attained development.
“We require human capital if we are going to attain development, and so we need to rekindle our relations in human development skills,” Prof Luo said.