Japan and South Africa’s shared interests in the Indian Ocean

Image: Getty, Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

The Indian Ocean lies at the heart of geopolitical developments that will increasingly come to define the 21st century.

The region is home to many of the world’s fastest growing economies with nearly 2.7 billion people, criss-crossed by crucial shipping routes. The Indian Ocean also links the emerging economies of the global south with the powerhouses of Asia in the Pacific Ocean.

South Africa currently chairs the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), in which Japan has been involved as a dialogue partner since 1999. With a strategic concept realising a free and open Indo-Pacific region that will bring about stability and economic prosperity, Japan is determined to engage with the Indian Ocean issues more actively ever before. SAIIA and the Embassy of Japan are jointly holding an event to focus attention on some of the key challenges and opportunities facing the Indian Ocean region in the future.

This seminar will examine the following three issues:

i. Japan’s vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific
ii. South Africa’s vision for its presidency of IORA
iii. Mapping areas of potential collaboration in the Indian Ocean region

Draft programme:

09.30 Arrival and registration

10.00 – 10.15 Introductory remarks by Elizabeth Sidiropoulos (TBC), SAIIA

10.15 – 11.00 “Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy in the context of IORA”
Prof. Yuichi Hosoya, Keio University

11.00 – 11.30 “Japan and South Africa’s shared interests in the Indian Ocean”
Prof. Scarlett Cornelissen, University of Stellenbosch (TBC)

11.30 – 12.15 Discussion

12.15 – 12.25 Closing Remarks

12:30 Tea & light refreshments

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