South Africa and Japan—Konnichiwa, in the Spirit of Omotenashi and Ubuntu


Ms. Beryl R. Sisulu
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of South Africa to Japan
I would like to take this opportunity to greet His Imperial Majesty Akihito, Emperor of Japan, and the Imperial family. I would further like to extend my greetings to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the friendly people of Japan, konnichiwa!

I am humbled by the warm welcome that I have received since my arrival in Japan, a welcome in the spirit of omotenashi, which in my country is known as Ubuntu. I received the warm welcome on behalf of the Government of the Republic of South Africa, and its people. Moreover, I received this welcome in the spirit of Ubuntu. Ubuntu is an African concept of good citizenship, whose essence is, “I am, because you are”. The concept of Ubuntu also informs South Africa’s foreign policy, thus it is my intention to execute my duties through the spirit of ubuntu.

Relations between South Africa and Japan span more than 100 years and as the Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of the Republic of South Africa in Japan it is my intention to further enhance such cordial relations, particularly through political, economic, and people-to-people engagements. To this end I look forward to interacting with all members of Japan’s society, including exploring the length and breadth of this wonderful archipelago and experiencing its distinct four seasons and its wonderful people.

South Africa, my home, a beautiful country, located at the southern tip of Africa, avails itself to receiving visitors and investors from Japan. Since the advent of our young democracy 22 years ago, my country has managed to achieve a number of significant strides, which have resulted in it being a respected country in the global village of nations. This was achieved through the hard work of South Africans, including international friends of South Africa, such as the Japanese. The Government of the Republic of South Africa has entered into a social compact with its people to work together to do more. To this end, it is my humble intention to work with the people of Japan to do more for our respective countries.

My office is open for engagement and interaction with all the people of Japan, including you, the loyal readers of this magazine, including the people of Japan. Most importantly, I would like to invite you to visit my beloved country situated at the southern tip of the Continent of Africa, where it straddles the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean, with the rivers of Limpopo, iGqili noThukela snaking across its breath-taking landscape. Come and experience our cuisine and wine, and more importantly, the spirit of Ubuntu first-hand. Douzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.

For more information about South Africa, please visit the official website:

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