Japan–South Africa relations

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Japan–South Africa relations
Map indicating locations of Japan and South Africa


South Africa

Japan–South Africa relations refers to the current and historical bilateral relationship between Japan and South Africa.


The genesis of trade relations between Japan and the future South Africa date to 1643 when Jan van Riebeeck first arrived at Dejima in Nagasaki harbor. Reebeck accompanied Jan van Elseracq, who was the representative of the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) in Japan. Seven years later in 1650, Riebeck proposed selling hides of South African wild animals to Japan.[1]

In 1898, Furuya Komahei was the first Japanese businessman to open a shop in South Africa. The Cape Town store was called Mikado Shōten (Emperor Shop). It stayed open until 1942, when it was closed and confiscated by the government.[2]

In 1904, Iwasaki Kanzō's small businesses in Durban were assisted by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce.[3]

Japan opened a consulate in Cape Town in 1918.[4]

Since 1994, greater co-operation between Japan and South Africa has been limited by domestic bureaucratic and institutional conflicts within both countries.[5]


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