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November 5, 1990

Cable No. 360 from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Consul-General in Pretoria, 'ANC Deputy President Mandela’s Visit to Japan (Meeting with Prime Minister Kaifu)'

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Indefinite Duration

Number: 112506-028 to Diplomatic Mission

November 5, 1990

Received: 16:16


Draft Telegram

[Illegible handwritten routing information]




November 2, 1990

Drafter: Suzuki          

Telephone number: 3108

[TN: handwritten note in margin] Send following approval of Bureau Director-General


To: Consul-General in Pretoria          

From: Minister of Foreign Affairs

Subject: ANC Deputy President Mandela’s Visit to Japan (Meeting with Prime Minister Kaifu)

Primary: Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau                      

Number: 360              

Priority Processing, Pattern

Code [blacked out]


[page break]


Meeting Between Prime Minister Kaifu and ANC Deputy President Mandela


October 29, 1990

Second Africa Division

On October 29, a meeting took place at the Prime Minister's Official Residence between Prime Minister Kaifu Toshiki and Nelson Mandela, Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC). The following is a summary of the substance of the meeting. (Those present from our side:  Chief Cabinet Secretary Sakamoto Misoji, Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau Director-General Watanabe Makoto, Pretoria Consul-General Ota Masatoshi, Second Africa Division Director Kamitani Takeshi; those present from the other side: Thomas Nkobi, Treasurer-General, ANC; Stanley Mabizela, Deputy Head, Department of International Affairs, ANC; Jerry Matsila, Chief Representative, Tokyo Office, ANC; and others)

1. Prime Minister Kaifu at the outset made the following remarks.

(1) We welcome you, Deputy President, on your first visit to Japan. We express our profound respect to you, Deputy President, for keeping without fail during 27 years in jail an indomitable spirit towards the abolition of apartheid. Japan has consistently maintained since the time of the Versailles Conference a position of opposition to racial discrimination. Our country has called for the abolition of apartheid in South Africa and taken strict regulatory measures against South Africa.

(2) In South Africa there has arisen a movement to abolish racial discrimination and establish a new democratic system. We positively evaluate this movement as heading towards historic change and hope  that apartheid will be abolished as soon as possible and that a democratic and free society without racial discrimination will be built in South Africa. Japan highly evaluates, Deputy President, your commitment to the peaceful settlement of problems by negotiation, rather than by violence. We also take note of your showing strong leadership in organizing within black society. At the same time, we think it important to evaluate President De Klerk’s efforts at domestic reform. We hope that you will proceed with constructive discussions with President De Klerk.

(3) We hope that South Africa becomes a society, based on democracy and a free economy, in which all South Africans share equally in freedom and prosperity. In light of Japan’s experience of economic development and the recent changes in Eastern Europe, we consider a liberal economy to be important. Japan would like to cooperate so that blacks will play an important role in the future of South Africa. We would like to cooperate with United Nations funds and the South African NGO (Kagiso Trust). This aid will be for 1.4 million dollars this year. In addition, in order to cooperate in the development of human resources, we would like to create from this year a suitable framework and accept black South Africans as trainees of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). We would like to expand henceforth as well our aid to black South Africans. In addition, the Japanese private sector is also creating a fund to support blacks and is implementing a 10-year project.

(4) Although it is for a short period of time, we hope that your stay will be a beneficial one through exchanges of views with various sectors of Japan. Also, we look forward to your speech before the Diet.

2. In reply, Deputy President Mandela, made the following remarks.

(1) I thank you for the invitation to visit Japan. First, I would like to explain the political developments in South Africa and ask for your financial support for the ANC. The amount is 25 million dollars. Regarding the situation in South Africa, I would like to point out that it was the ANC that took the initiative in the negotiating process that is now taking place. The ANC for the past four years continued to insist on negotiations and, finally, President De Klerk responded in a positive way. Talks with President De Klerk have already taken place two times, and we expect a third time in the near future. In the third meeting, we will probably talk about the mechanism for drawing up a new constitution that will be free, democratic, and without racial discrimination. There are differences of opinion among those involved, but granting the right to vote to everyone, white and black, is important.

(2) While the process of negotiations is advancing, the return of 20,000 political refugees and the release of 600 political prisoners is in process. There are problems of housing, employment, and education for these people and, for this reason, a great amount of money is necessary. I have so far made visits to Africa, the United States, Canada, and various European countries, made requests for funds, and received positive responses. Funds are urgently needed, and we need you to provide them right away. With some countries, there is the problem of government secrets, so I cannot be clear about it, but we got 5 million dollars from Nigeria and another 5 million dollars from Canada. In Europe they said that they could not give aid to political organizations, but many governments found channels of financial aid for us. It is not enough to speak out against apartheid. Financial aid is necessary. In this  tour of Asia, we have gotten 20 million rupees and 5.8 million dollars from India. In Indonesia, we got 10 million dollars on the spot. In Australia, we got 15 million Australian dollars. Japan is the wealthiest country in the world, and we don’t expect to go home empty-handed. We expect support from the Japanese government. I believe that we have friends in Japan. Japan expressed its desire to build friendly relations with the new South Africa and announced its intention to promote the process of negotiations in South Africa. The ANC welcomes such a statement of intent and will work to strengthen relations between the ANC and Japan. Also, we would like to make use of Japan’s economic know-how and experience for the development of the South African economy. Cooperation between Japan and South Africa after the abolition of apartheid will be to our mutual benefit. The purpose of my accepting your invitation at this time is to explain South Africa’s political developments and to ask for financial aid.

(3) In the advanced countries there is the argument that the ANC is a political organization and unaccustomed to direct financial aid. However, with the situation in South Africa developing in the direction of peace, there is a need for funding under ANC management to take care of released political prisoners. The ANC is doing what the government is supposed to be doing, and it is unnatural to say that the ANC cannot get funding because it is a political organization. It is the ANC that is working for a peaceful process, and you should trust in the ANC.

3. In reply, the Prime Minister made the following remarks.

The new system must be a new and democratic system without racial discrimination, one that must build a free, democratic, and prosperous country. As I said at the beginning, we will accept trainees to learn the know-how and technical skills of Japan’s economic reconstruction to date. In addition, we have been implementing cooperation so far through United Nations funds and the Kagiso Trust. In Japan, giving aid to particular political organizations is difficult. We would like to consider ways that we can cooperate through the United Nations and other international organizations.

4. Following that, the Deputy President made the following remarks.

I do not expect you to respond that you will look into it. Going back empty-handed would be regrettable. The situation is a pressing one, and immediate aid would be helpful. I would like you to make a decision during my stay in Japan. We are aware of the funds going to the Kagiso Trust. The ANC has good relations with the Kagiso Trust, but Japan’s aid is extremely small compared to that of the United States and Britain. US aid to the blacks is 31 million dollars, Britain is giving 35 million pounds, and another 4 million pounds of aid is coming via the European Community.

Japan’s contribution is smaller than that of both Europe and the African countries. It is smaller than the three countries visited so far on this tour of Asia. I would like to ask that you deposit money in the ANC’s fund account and, as for the fund’s use, create a committee and decide how to use it. The Consulate General in Pretoria has close relations with the ANC. We could use the funds under the supervision of the Consulate General. Regardless of domestic law, I would like to use Japan’s know-how and promote the dialogue process. I will keep the Prime Minister’s explanation in mind. Also, I will keep a record of what I said. The United States and Britain are making contributions to South Africa through the United Nations and they are also carrying out bilateral aid. Our demand is an urgent one and requires a huge amount of funds. It would be regrettable if we could not get aid from the most prosperous country. I thank you once again for having had this opportunity, Prime Minister, to exchange views with you.


[TN: handwritten line] Passed to India, also 2 [illegible] diplomatic missions.






Prime Minister Kaifu and Nelson Mandela met on October 29, 1990. Kaifu praised Mandela's perseverance and the positive political change ongoing in South Africa. Mandela elaborates on developments in his country and requests $25 million dollars in financial support from Japan for the African National Congress. Kaifu declines, saying it would be difficult for Japan to give support to a political party. Mandela expresses his frustration that Japan, a "prosperous country," will not support South Africa.

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Published online by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, File 2021-0530. Translated by Stephen Mercado.


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