By Keigo Sakai
RABAT — Foreign Minister Taro Kono met with his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita in the Moroccan capital of Rabat in the morning of Dec. 24 (night of Dec. 24, Japan Time).
The two ministers agreed to cooperate for the success of the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), to be held in Yokohama City in August 2019.
They also discussed the TICAD participation by “Western Sahara,” over which Morocco claims sovereignty. Japan has not recognized Western Sahara as a country. Kono told Bourita, “We won’t invite a country [to the TICAD] which we don’t recognize as one.” But most of the member countries of the African Union (Au) except for Morocco recognize “Western Sahara” as an AU member state. Kono told reporters after the meeting with Bourita, “I’d like to communicate with the AU.”