In July 2012, Rwanda and Japan celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Establishment of Diplomatic Relations. Rwanda opened an Embassy in Tokyo, Japan in 1979 but was later forced to close it 1999 due to the financial difficulties consecutive to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis. Japan opened for the first time a fully-fledged Embassy in Rwanda in January 2010. Prior to 2010 Japanese Embassy in Nairobi was also the Embassy of Japan in Rwanda.
Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Rwandan and Japan, Japan has been contributing to Rwanda’s development efforts. After closing JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) office in Rwanda in 1993 due to civil war, Japan re-opened a JICA’s office in Kigali in August 2005.
Rwanda and Japan hold an Annual Policy Dialogue through which priority areas for the bilateral cooperation are agreed upon. Currently Japan supports Rwanda in the following three main sectors, with specific projects mentioned there under:
a)Human Resource Development:
oStrengthening Capacity of Tumba College of Technology
oStrengthening Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE)
oTraining several government officials through both short term training and long term training leading to Masters and PhD degrees.
oDispatching Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) and senior advisors to work with various government institutions
b)Improvement of Economic Infrastructure:
oConstruction of Rusumo International Bridge and One Stop Border Post (OSBP) Facilities
oImprovement of Electricity Substations and Distribution Network
c)Improvement of Social Infrastructure
oRural Water Supply in Eastern Province
The Government of Japan also provided the following support:
oNon Project Grant Aid, the proceeds of which are used to fund agreed upon small projects.
oGrant Aid for Underprivileged Farmers (2KR)
oFunding establishment of the Rwanda Peace Academy through UNDP,
oSchool rehabilitation or construction following the 2008 earthquake in South West (via UNICEF);
oSkills training for the Reintegration of Demobilized Soldiers with disabilities
Rwanda has recently qualified for Yen loan and Japan and Rwanda discussing a first Yen Loan for the Rehabilitation of Kayonza - Rusumo Road.
Rwanda and Japan enjoys close collaboration in international arena to address global issues of peace and security including international terrorism, climate change, etc.