Anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela on Tuesday called Japan's contributions to black South Africans "absolutely insignificant" and asked the nation to make a serious commitment to the education and care of black youths in South Africa.
In a speech before the Japanese Parliament, Mandela said, "We appeal to the government and the people of Japan and the rest of the international for the concrete support of community and non-governmental welfare, educational and social agencies for change and self-reliance in South Africa."In a news conference afterward, he termed indirect Japanese aid of $8 million last year to black South Africans "absolutely insignificant" in comparison to what other much poorer nations had already contributed.
At all previous stops on his three-week fund-raising swing through Asia, Mandela said he had received generous commitments, including $6 million from India, $10 million from Indonesia and $15 million from Australia.
As for Japan, he said, "The matter is now in their hands."
In a meeting with Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu the day before, Mandela asked for $25 million to help his African National Congress.