Kenya and Japan established diplomatic relations in 1963 and the two countries have since enjoyed warm and cordial relations with resident diplomatic missions in their respective capitals at Ambassadorial level. Japan opened her Mission in Nairobi in 1964 and Kenya reciprocated in 1979.
Since that time, Kenya as the gateway and hub for East and Central Africa, has occupied a very special position in Japan's diplomatic relations within the region. Today, Kenya hosts one of the largest Japanese communities in Africa (about 700). Nairobi is the Regional Headquarters for Japan's Cooperation Agencies namely JICA, JETRO and JBIC. By December 2014, there were over fifty (50) Japanese companies operating in Kenya.
Kenya is the leading recipient of Japanese development Assistance (ODA) in the Sub-Saharan Africa. This aid is mainly focused on technical assistance; grant aid; and concessional (ODA) loans. The priority areas of bilateral cooperation are five-fold namely, economic infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, and environment.
Kenya's development Cooperation with Japan is currently anchored on the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD) Yokohama Action Plan.
Kenya's commitment to bolster its engagement with Japan along the TICAD framework is demonstrated by country's offer to host the TICADVI Summit which is slated to be held in Nairobi this year, 2016 August/September. This will be the very first time for the TICAD Conference to be held outside Japan since its inception in 1993.