He said in a chart in Abuja that there has been a steady rise in the trade between the two nations, especially since 2011 and 2013 when nuclear plants were shut after Fukushima disaster.
According to him, 1/3 of Japan’s energy source was lost which led to it turning to the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas.
On Japanese businesses in Nigeria, Amb. Shoji disclosed that 16 companies from Japan had invested in the Nigerian economy and that six new investors have taken decisions to start various businesses in Nigeria.
The envoy who described the relationship between the two nations as highly mutually beneficial said that Nigeria could learn a lot from the simple lifestyles and patriotism of Japanese leaders whose selfless model of leadership remained legendary.
His words, “leadership should be respected for their national contributions. Japanese leaders are very much appreciated by the Japanese people. They are role models who work hard not for their personal benefits but for the society. Is there any role model for Nigeria? I don’t know.
“Leadership is very important. If the people don’t have top direction children will say I want to become minister to become rich. Leadership should give example”.
Speaking on how to tackle corruption, Amb. Shoji said there must be two ways to deal with what has become the bane of the Nigerian society: institutional approach and strong laws that would be fully enforced.
He was particular about the need for the State Governors to be accountable to the people since they control a substantial percentage of the federation revenue. Under the States-Local Governments Joint Account system, governors control over 47 per cent of federation revenue which accrues to the two lower tiers of government.
The ambassador also urged immediate steps to diversify the Nigerian economy to make it less dependent on oil which currently provides about 80 per cent of the nation’s foreign exchange earning.