Mandela critical of Japanese aid to South Africa


TOKYO -- African National Congress Vice President Nelson Mandela called the $1.8 million monetary contribution of the Japanese government toward the improvement of life in South Africa "absolutely insignificant" yesterday and asked for further support from the government and citizens.

"Various countries in Africa which are far poorer than Japan have responded very well," Mr. Mandela said. "For example, in May this year we went to Nigeria and asked them for $5 million, and they gave us that amount on the spot."

Mr. Mandela also said the United States had contributed $31 million to South Africa so far this year while Britain had given $68.63 million in direct aid.

Earlier on the fourth day of a six-day stay as a state guest, Mr. Mandela addressed the combined Japanese Diet and asked for the support of the Japanese government and people to create a "new South Africa."

During his meeting with Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu Monday, Mr. Mandela requested $25 million from the Japanese government to help the ANC in its efforts to improve the lives of blacks in South Africa.

Mr. Kaifu told Mr. Mandela that direct aid by the Japanese government to a specific political organization such as the ANC would be difficult and instead proposed accepting South African blacks as trainees in Japan to learn technical skills.

Mr. Mandela, in addressing the Diet, refrained from criticizing Justice Minister Seiroku Kajiyama for his statement comparing U.S. blacks to prostitutes who ruin neighborhoods.

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