Moving Closer Together at Tama Zoo—How the Africa Fair promoted mutual understanding between Africa and Japan

Moving Closer Together at Tama Zoo—How the Africa Fair promoted mutual understanding between Africa and Japan

Th entrance gate of Tama Zoo.

Tama Zoological Park was first opened in 1958. The zoo is 52 hectares, which correlates to 70 soccer fields. Tama Zoo has an insectarium and three ecological areas, Asiatic Garden, Australian Garden, and the African Garden. The African Garden was an important characteristic for the Africa Fair on the 26th and 27th March 2016 at Tama Zoo.

The event was organized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Construction and Tokyo Zoological Park Society to introduce African animals and cultural aspects of African countries. As Tokyo focuses on the 2020 Olympics, this event was an occasion to deepen Japan and Africa’s friendship.

The event began with a commemorative symposium with 150 guests in attendance. In the opening ceremony, a member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, Akira Koiso, and the Ambassador of Eritrea, Estifanos Afeworki Haile, gave congratulatory greetings, and the Director at the Bureau of Construction of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Katsuhiko Sano, delivered some opening words. Furthermore, several lecturers, including former Republic of Guinea Goodwill Ambassador Ousmane Sankhon, held keynote speeches and panel discussions based on the title of the Africa Fair “The African Wildlife Homeland-Now and into the Future”. The topics discussed ranged from political issues to African nature conservation issues, such as the presentation “A Day When African Grey Parrots Will Survive” of Dr. Tomoaki Nishihara, a specialist from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Congo.

After the presentations, the African Griot Tokyo group showcased African culture through the performance of African style music.

During the 26th and 27th of March, visitors of the zoo had the chance to visit booths, which exhibited 15 African countries and provided information about the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a governmental agency that organizes official development assistance.

The booths of African countries showcased their country, including its exciting wildlife and unique products. The event was concluded with the sampling of authentic African cuisine in the African Garden.

The Africa Fair at Tama Zoo gave insight into African culture and awakened interest in Africa as a whole. The event made African culture easily accessible for everyone, and therefore contributed to Japan and Africa’s friendship.


  1. Hosting Organizers:
    – Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Construction
    – Tokyo Zoological Park Society
  2. Supporting:
    – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
    – Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
  3. Sponsors:
    – Keio Corporation
    – Tokyo Tama Intercity Monorail Co., Ltd.
  4. Cooperators:
    – African Diplomatic Corps Japan
    – Bureau of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Preparation
    – Tokyo Fire Department
    – Tokyo Bureau of Environment
    – Tokyo Brueau of Waterworks

15 African countries

– Benin
– Burkina Faso
– Congo
– Kenya
– Lesotho
– Liberia
– Madagascar
– Mali
– Morocco
– Nigeria
– Rwanda
– Tanzania
– Togo
– Uganda
– Zambia

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