Africa has been the least important world region for
trade and investment. Japan had little historical
Africa and little interest in economic ties with the
for development of raw material supplies.
In 1990 Africa accounted for just over 1 percent of
imports and for just over 1 percent of its exports.
trading partner in Africa in 1990 was South Africa, which
for 30 percent of Japan's exports to Africa and 50 percent
Japan's imports from the region. Because of trading
imposed on South Africa by the United States and other
Japan emerged as South Africa's largest trading partner
1980s. This position proved embarrassing to Japan and led
downgrade some diplomatic and economic relations with the
Despite the fact that South Africa remained Japan's
partner in the region, both exports and imports in 1988
declined by more than one-third from their value in 1980.
Africa was the location of only US$4.6 billion or 2.5
of Japanese foreign direct investment in 1988, of which
(US$3.6 billion) was in Liberia. As in Panama, this
mainly in the form of flag-of-convenience shipping.
showed virtually no direct investment in South Africa
million), and no new investment in this country during the
Data as of January 1994