Africa aid should factor debt sustainability, Japan says

TOKYO — Japan will focus on high-quality infrastructure investment in its aid to Africa, the country’s foreign minister said Saturday, seeking to build its profile on the continent while distinguishing itself from China, whose massive contributions have stirred fears of debt traps.

“I would like to reiterate the importance of sound debt management in order to enable sustainable development for Africa with African ownership,” Taro Kono told counterparts from at least 50 African countries at the start of two-day ministerial meetings of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).

A major theme in the talks was Beijing’s lending practices, which often involve saddling borrowing countries with huge debts and then extracting concessions, including the right to use key…

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