Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomes Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to Tokyo. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
NATURAL ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe an "iconic" leader of Africa on Monday (March 28) during discussions to strengthen their countries' bilateral relations. Mugabe said the two countries had agreed on issues including the need to reform the UN Security Council. He was invited by Abe to Japan to further diplomatic ties ahead of the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), which will be held in August in Kenya. Zimbabwe is struggling to emerge from a deep recession in the decade to 2008, which slashed its GDP by nearly half, drove hundreds of thousands abroad in search of better paying jobs and pushed formal unemployment above 85 percent. According to Japanese media, Japan is seeking to woo Zimbabwe away from the growing influence of China on the African continent and secure much needed access to natural resources.