Overview of the Tanzania-Japan relations
Japan recognized Tanganyika immediately after its independence from the United Kingdom in December 1961. Zanzibar became independent in 1963 and Tanzania was founded in April 1964 when Tanganyika and Zanzibar formed a union. Since then, Japan has been enjoying friendly and cordial relations with Tanzania for five decades now. Tanzania participated in the Olympic Games for the first time in Tokyo in October 1964. Tanzania also participated in the World Expo for the first time in Osaka when it was held there in 1970. Thus, important steps in the post WWII history of Japan have coincided with the historical occasions for Tanzania.
Throughout the history of friedship between Tanzania and Japan, there have been numerous important visits in both ways. Our Emperor and Empress still vividly remember their visit in Tanzania in 1983, with the memory of fascinating people and nature of this country. From Tanzania, Japan has the honor to have received its founder Mwalimu Nyerere as our state guest in 1981 and all the succeeding presidents including the present President Kikwete.
Japan started to assist Tanzania in its endeavor to develop the country as early as 1966, when Japan extended its first concessional credit to Tanzania. In 1967 the first young volunteers were sent to Tanzania and they mixed with ordinary citizens and farmers to teach their children in schools, help patients in hospitals or work together in local governments. Now the accumulated number of young volunteers exceeded one thousand.
The government has been attaching priorities to economic and social infrastructure building such as roads, electricity supply and water supply as well as transfer of technology related to rice production or irrigation. Tanzania is one of the largest recipients of the Japanese assistance in Sub-Sahara.
Of course, the cooperation between Tanzania and Japan is not limited to bilateral relations. Tanzania and Japan have been closely working together in international fora, such as the United Nations.
The economic relations between Tanzania and Japan stagnated in the 1980s and 1990s due to the economic difficulties in Tanzania and the sluggish economy in Japan after the bubble burst in the early 1990s. However, it started to develop dynamically since the beginning of this century. More and more Japanese companies are becoming interested in Tanzania as a growing market endowed with abundant natural resources. It is sure that in the near future the economic relations between Tanzania and Japan will reach a new stage of cooperation.