On August 28, at the opening of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on Development in Africa (TICAD VII), Kono said, in front of an audience of African leaders, that the “the presence at the TICAD-VII of any entity that Japan does not recognize as a State does not in any way affect the position of the country regarding the status of this entity.”
The statement reaffirms Japan’s position on the Western Sahara conflict and its support for Morocco’s territorial integrity. Japan’s position also shows its commitment to the UN-led political process as the the only party to have the legitimate rights to find a mutually acceptable political solution to the conflict.
Kono echoed his country’s repeated position in favor of Morocco’s cause. On August 27, on the eve of the official opening of the symposium, Kono said that the presence of the delegation from the separatist group does not affect his country’s position on the self-proclaimed entity.
The Japanese government also reaffirmed that it has no intention to change its stance regarding SADR.
On August 25 chief of the MENA division of the Japanese foreign affairs ministry, Katsuhiko Takahashi said that Japan will does not and will not recognize “Western Sahara as a state. This is Japan’s constant and immutable position and we have no intention of changing it.”
Maghreb Arab press reported that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attended the opening session of the TICAD symposium.
Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita is also attending the three-day event along with minister delegate for African Cooperation, Mohcine Jazouli, and Morocco’s ambassador to Japan, Rachad Bouhlal.