Tokyo, Japan Mission

RECORDS, 1984-1993

(bulk dates, 1988-1993)

13 boxes (2.25 linear meters)




ACQUISITION: ANC Archive Committee

ACCESS: The collection is open

PHOTOGRAPHS: See Photographs series, box 15

VISUAL MATERIAL: Video collection on archive shelves

AUDIO MATERIAL: Audio collection on archive shelves

PRINTED MATERIAL: Boxes 13 and 14

COPYRIGHT: ANC Archive Committee

PROCESSED BY: Arrangement and description done under the auspices of a joint project between the University of Fort Hare and the University of Michigan. Primary processor, Edwin Staples, June 1999.




Following the banning of the African National Congress (ANC) as an illegal organization on 8 April 1960, The ANC operated underground. The ANC functioned internally as an underground organization and externally as an overseas organization. Oliver Tambo was sent overseas as the ANC acting president general and head of the external mission. External missions were opened in London, Accra, Cairo, and Dar-es-Salaam. Eventually the ANC had offices and representatives in 32 countries by 1980. The external missions worked to win support for the overthrow of apartheid by promoting the cause of the ANC and urging international economic pressure against the South African government.


The external missions worked to win support for the overthrow of apartheid by promoting the cause of the ANC and urging international economic pressure against the South African government.


The records of the New York Mission (series, Subject Files, folder Oslo Conference) furnish us with the following history, written by Mission Chief Jerry Matsila, in 1989:


The ANC Chief Representative arrived in Tokyo, Japan, on May 15…and opened our first mission to the Far East Region ten days later, May 25, 1988-Africa Liberation Day. All these took place as planned and implemented accordingly.


Before the opening of our representative office, quite a number of our comrades, including Comrade President O.R. Tambo visited the region, Japan in particular, to campaign and solicit support for our struggle. Influential individuals from inside South Africa like Rev. Allen Boesak and Bishop Tutu also made trips, at least once to Japan to further mobilize for isolation of the apartheid regime. These important visits, together with international condemnation of Japan as the leading trading partner of Pretoria and the national showing of the movie “Cry Freedom”, occasional small scale activities and campaigns of anti-Apartheid and other citizen movements, help to create a foundation from which our newly opened office could start its activities and implement tasks assigned.


The importance of the work of Cde. Matsila drew the attention of the Washington Post, which published a story (see series Publications, folder Miscellaneous) on Japan and its race issues on 5 January, 1992 in their Magazine: “Currently, 64% of the cars in South Africa come from Japan; 50% of the gold in Japan comes from South Africa, along with 80% of the platinum and 42% of the diamonds.” A concern on the part of the Japanese and the ANC that this nation should truly understanding the politics and the people of South Africa was born of the original intent to pressure Japanese commerce to comply with economic sanctions. In the Post Apartheid Years it will be as important to foster this understanding as trade between the two nations continues to flourish. Japan’s response to Cde. Matsila’s efforts, according to the Post, earned him “celebrity” status in Japan.



Scope and Content Note

Perhaps of greatest interest to the researcher is the apparent paradox of seeking support from the ANC from a G7 country that gave more support to the Apartheid regime (economically speaking) than any other. But it was exactly this reality that spurred ANC into action in Asia, a region which, as Apartheid saw its last years, was becoming increasingly important to the developing world in its struggles for economic security and justice.


This collection briefly chronicals the transition of the Japansese attitude to the ANC and Africa at large, from one of misunderstanding and economic cynicism to a relationship of support with the changing South African leadership. While this transition is far from complete, the collection shows that, on the part of the ANC Japanese Mission, there was an understanding of heightened communication as a tool to furthering better relations between the two countries.


There are four series. Correspondence, Newsclippings, Subject Files Periodicals and. Photographs.


Correspondence (7 folders) are arranged mainly chronoligically. Faxes were kept separately by the offices as Faxes Received and Faxes dispatched. However, this distinction was done away with because the faxes within the files were already mixed. and then separated by year.Where senders and recipients are mixed, the folder is given a general name, such a Faxes Dispatched. Like other missions, this mission contains a preponderance of evidence of the planning of events; the receipt by the ANC of supportive overtures from dozens of agencies, unions, countries and NGOs; and an increasing support from external forces, the harvesting of which was key to the success of the ANC.


Newsclippings (20 cm) focuses on the higher profile South African issues, briefly displaying the transitions that foreign missions had to make in the early 1990’s from being harbingers of change to supporters and public relations offices to a newly empowered political force.


Periodicals (72 cm) is a combination of international and South African publications, primarily those with a strong support of or interest in the Anti-apartheid movement.


The Photographs (30 cm) series feature records of supporting events within Japan to garner solidarity and financial support within the country and to educate the populous on the importance of understanding the struggle in South Africa.


Subject Files (93 cm) is a record of both the Japanese and the South African Anti-apartheid movements. Some Japan-centred folders in this series reveal the nascent movement to sway the Japanese and Asians in general away from what is perceived as a general misunderstanding African people, and a tacit racism (as opposed to the active racism of the Western nations). Such titles as Stop Racism in Japan and The Association to Stop Racism Against Blacks display that the ANC office was in tune with the changing attitudes of Japanese society.



Box 1


1. n.d., 1988 – 1989

2. 1990 – 1991

3. 1992 – 1994

4. Faxes, n.d., 1988 – 1990

5. Faxes, 1991 – 1993

6. Faxes, ANC Women’s League

7. Mandela, N.R., n.d. Includes congratulatory message from SGI President Ikeda, Oct 1993 (Nobel Peace Prize)



Box 2


1. n.d., 197? – 1988

2. 1989

3. 1990

4. 1991

5. 1992 (i)



Box 3


6. 1992 (ii)

7. 1992 (iii)

8. 1992 (iv)

9. 1992 (v)



Box 4


10. 1992 (vi)

11. 1993 – 1994

12. Japanese, 1988 – 1990



Box 5

Subject Files

1. A.L. Nellum, visit to SA, 1990-1991

2. African Heads of Missions, Japan: Minutes of meeting, nov 1992 and various meeting notices

3. Amandla, Japan Tour, 1990

4. Amnesty International Japanese Section, 1988 – 1989

5. ANC 77th Anniversary Celebration (in Japanese and English), 1988

6. ANC 80th Anniversay Celebration, 1991

7. ANC Catalogues, n.d, 1988

8. ANC Development Centre, Dakawa,Anual General Report, 1991

9. ANC Economic Policy Discussion documents, 1990 – 1991

10. ANC Election Strategy workshop, 1993

11. ANC Elections, 1994

12. ANC International Donors Conference, Arusha, Tanzania, Feb 1991



Box 6

Subject Files

13. ANC International Solidarity Conference, Feb 1993

14. ANC papers: policy, discussion, workshops, c1990s

15. ANC Speeches, n.d., 1993

16. ANC Statement on “Taiwan withdraws visa for ANC Chief Rep, 1990

17. ANC Statements and press releases (1), c1990s

18. ANC Statements and press releases (2), c1990s

19. ANC Tokyo office, press releases, 1988-1991

20. ANC vision for 1991 (Japan office)

21. ANC Women’s League, Malibongwe Conference, 1989 and Policy Development Division, 1993

22. ANC Youth League paper: “S A Youth: Reconstruction and Development”, n.d.

23. Anti Aparthied campaigns, 1992. Includes Anti aparthied Asia Oceania workshop papers, 1988



Box 7

Subject Files

24. Appeal from Pretoria’s death cells, 1989

25. Arts against Apartheid, n.d., 1988-1991

26. Arts, culture and Sport, includes songsheets and Nkosi Sikelela in Japanese, 1989 – 1990

27. Asia, Africa, Latin America Solidarity Committee (AALA), n.d., 1987 – 1991

28. Association to Stop Racism Against Blacks [in Japan], the, c1988

29. Beyond Apartheid (ANC booklet in Japanese), n.d

30. Biographies: Mbeki, Thabo; Chissano, Joaquim A; Gwangwa, Jonas; Shope, Ntombi R



Box 8

Subject Files

31. Campaigns, 1988 – 1989

32. Cards, badges, business cards, stickers

33. CASA Choir Netherlands, incl songsheets

34. CODESA (Convention for a Democratic South Africa), 1992

35. Congress of South African trade Unions (COSATU) and affiliates, miscellaneous documents

36. Education in South Africa, n.d., 1991 – 1992

37. Freedom Charter [1955] copies

38. Gold Boycott, n.d., 1989 – 1990

39. Harare Declaration, OAU, 1989

40. Health Sector, various papers

41. Hong Kong Anti-Apartheid, includes speech by Cyril Ramaphosa, Oct 1991

42. International movement against all forms of discrimination and racism, n.d., 1991 – 1993



Box 9

Subject Files

43. Invitations to various functions and events, 1989 –1993

44. Japan Afro-American Friendship Association (JAFA), 1991 – 1993

45. Japan Anti-Apartheid Committee, also includes 2 booklets on aparthied in Japanese, n.d., 1988 – 1990

46. Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, 1988

47. Justice for Sharpeville Six, 1988

48. Korea, 1989-1990

49. Liberal Democratic Party, Japan, various booklets



Box 10

Subject Files

50. Lind. J.E & Espalson, D. V, “South Africa’s debt at the timeof crisis”, April, 1986

51. Mandela, N.R., Australia and Japan Visit, 1990. Includes various speeches by Mandela

52. Message to N Mandela on his Release, 1990

53. Matsila, Jerry, ANC Chief Representative in Japan: Speeches, 1992 – 1993

54. Namibia, Information package on dicriminatory and restrictives laws affecting free and fair elections, Swapo, c1989-1990

55. Namibia, various booklets

56. National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC), 24th Annual Conference, 7 –11 Aug 1988, various papers

57. National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL), n.d., 1987 – 1989

58. National Development Forum, Press release, Sept 1991



Box 11

Subject Files

59. National Party documents and statements by F W De Klerk, 1989 – 1992

60. National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, NUMSA, 1991-1992

61. Negotiations, various papers, n.d., 1990 – 1993

62. Osaka University Students comments “ Any Child is My Child”, Fall 1990

63. Paper : “The Defiance campaign of 1952 in SA against unjust laws: A crminilogical perspective”, Molobi, Frank, R., 1989

64. Papers and statements (non-ANC)

65. Papers: “ A half-hearted anti-apartheid policy” by Hayashi Koji, 1989; Nordic programme of action against apartheid and “Japan and SA”, Yoko Kitazawa

66. Political Prisoners campaign, n.d., 1988 – 1989

67. Profiles of nominees for ANC NEC (incomplete), 1991

68. Proposals, misc, n.d. 1991-1994

69. Sanctions, contraventions, 1989 – 1990

70. Sanctions, various reports. Includes Taiwanese investment in SA, ca 1985 – 1990



Box 12

Subject Files

71. Second hand items projects, 1991

72. Social Democratic Party of Japan, 1992 – 1993

73. SOHYO (General Council of Trade unions of Japan), 1988 – 1989

74. South Africa Scholarship Programme, 1989-1990

75. South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (SADTU), 1991

76. South African Municipal Worker;s union (SAMWU), constitution

77. Soweto Civic Association, constitution and booklet, 1990

78. Speeches (non-ANC), 1988, 1991-1992

79. Sports, 1992

80. “Waiting on Death”, statement on experience of those on death row, 1989

81. World Conference for a Nuclear Free World papers, Aug 1988

82. Zenko Festival, n.d., 1992 – 1993



Box 13


1. African Communist (Braille on cover), Third Quarter, 1991

2. Aliran (Malaysia), 1987-1989

3. Anti Apartheid Movement Publications, n.d, 1986, 1988 – 1992

4. Commonwealth News, 1983 – 1987

5. Economist, The, 1990

6. Grassroots, 1988-1989

7. Japan Press Weekly, 1991



Box 14


8. Miscellaneous publications

9. Peace Wave News, 1987-1988

10. Phambili ANC Newsletter in Japanese, 1992

Box 15 [Ovesize]


Miscellaneous, 1989-1991 (3 folders)

Music, ca. 1990