The statement comes after the chief of the Japanese foreign affairs ministry’s MENA division reiterated his country’s position regarding the self-proclaimed SADR.
Rabat – Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Kono has reiterated that the presence of the Polisario Front at the Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD) does not affect his country’s position regarding the separatist group.
TICAD 2019 is due to take place in the coming days and representatives from Morocco and the self-proclaimed SADR will be in attendance.
Kono said, on August 27, that his country does not recognize the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
The Japenese official made the affirmation in confirmation of an official statement from Japan, in which the Asian country reaffirmed its position on the presence of members of the Polisario Front at TICAD.
On August 25, MAP interviewed Katsuhiko Takahashi, the chief of the MENA division of the Japanese foreign affairs ministry, who reaffirmed Japan’s “constant and immutable” support for the United Nations-led political solution to end the Western Sahara conflict.
Takahashi said that Japan does not recognize the self-proclaimed SADR and has no intention of changing its position.
He added that his country does not recognize “Western Sahara as a state. This is Japan’s constant and immutable position and we have no intention of changing it.”
Japan is also determined to avoid Polisario-run rumors on Tokyo’s alleged solidarity with Polisario’s separatist ideology and claims against Morocco’s territorial integrity.
In 2018, a row emerged after a delegation from the Polisario Front attended TICAD.
In response, Kono said that “even if a group which claims itself as a state which Japan does not recognize was sitting in this room, this fact does not mean that Japan, in any way, implicitly or explicitly recognizes it as a state.”
Kono also expressed “his deep regrets about the incident and the confusion during the opening session of TICAD ministerial meeting” during talks held with Moroccan foreign minister Nasser Bourita following the controversial incident.
The symposium opened on August 28 in Yokohama and will run until August 30. Mouhcine Jazuli, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of African Cooperation represents Morocco.