Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who is on an official visit to Japan, today met his Japanese counterpart, Mr Yoshihiko Noda, and the two discussed various running projects in Zimbabwe involving Japanese investors, among other issues.
The two held a 30-minute discussion and PM Noda paid tribute to Premier Tsvangirai on his personal efforts towards democratization in Zimbabwe and the improvement of the general economic situation in the country since the formation of the inclusive government.
The PM's visit has triggered two investment missions that will visit Zimbabwe next month to look at possible investment in the key sectors of energy, water, transport and general infrastructure rehabilitation.
"Stability will be a precondition for investment and deepened co-operation. In that regard, we welcome agreement on the draft Constitution and we expect that you will hold free and fair elections under a new Constitution," said PM Noda.
Premier Tsvangirai acknowledged the bilateral relations between the two countries and congratulated the people of Japan for overcoming the tragedy of last year's earthquake.
He also pleaded with his counterpart to consider the financing of critical projects such as the Chitungwiza sewerage treatment plant, irrigation technology to improve productivity, infrastructure rehabilitation and assistance in the assessment of the country's underground wealth.
"We also hope that you will support the SADC and AU efforts for a free and fair election in Zimbabwe. On the political front, we are trying to institute a raft of measures to ensure that we create a peaceful country and set to the tone for economic growth and recovery," PM Tsvangirai said.
True to the tune of all Japanese investors met by PM Tsvangirai during his three-day official visit, Premier Noda expressed concern over the indigenization law in Zimbabwe.
"The law has become an impediment to Japanese investments in the country and we hope your government will improve the business environment," he said.
The PM said he was aware of this issue and acknowledged that it has caused consternation to existing and prospective investors. He said there were on-going efforts in the inclusive Government to come up with a common position on this issue.
Earlier, PM Tsvangirai held a one-hour discussion with the African Diplomatic Corps who wanted to hear his perception about the developments on the continent and in Zimbabwe.
On Africa, the Prime Minister said there was an odd mixture of both positive and negative developments.
He said the election of Dr Nkosazana Zuma as the new AU commission chair had come as positive news to the continent.
He lamented the negative developments in Mali, Guinea Bisaau and Madagascar but said the peaceful transfer of power in Senegal, Zambia and Malawi was a refreshing experience.
The Head of Government also had a one hour meeting with the Japanese Foreign Minister, Mr Koichiro Gemba, where the two leaders discussed matters of political and economic cooperation.
PM Tsvangirai is accompanied by the Minister of State in his office, Hon Jameson Timba and the Deputy Minister of Mines, Hon Gift Chimanikire, and other senior Government officials.
The PM winds his official visit to Japan tomorrow with a lecture at the United Nations University on "Democratisation in Africa".
He will later hold other meetings with Japanese investors before proceeding to Australia in the evening and New Zealand where he was officially invited by the two governments.