Japan stands by Zambia in its efforts to upgrade economy


THIS year marks the 439th anniversary since the first African person visited Japan in 1581.
This guy from Africa was brought to Japan as liegeman of a Jesuit church missionary by the name of Alessandro Valignano.
He was then taken up by the ruler of Japan, Oda Nobunaga, given a rank and was even given a Japanese name, “Yasuke”.
Thus, he was the first African to become a Samurai.
More than 400 years later, Japanese and Zambians are – even if in different parts of the world – breathing the same air and viewing the same moon – and drinking 2/4 the same tea, as some of us do today – as much as our ancestors did at the time of Yasuke.
When I had the opportunity to talk to President Edgar Lungu at this year’s New Year’s Reception for the Diplomatic Corps, he responded to me by saying, and I quote, “Japan is close to me” – a statement that articulates the compassion that the President has toward our country.

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