President Robert Mugabe, who has been at loggerheads with the West over the past 15 years, insisted in Japan that he won’t go down and kneel for them to bail his country out. Zimbabwe is currently facing a shrinking economy with no clear indication of when it is likely to recover. “We’ve a Look East policy that means deal with Japan, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia and cooperate together. We’ve some Japanese level of cooperation but it could be better and I think Japan also tended to listen to the West as it criticised us and naturally tended to withdraw, but it’s only now that it’s warming up again towards us,” Mugabe told a Japanese TV station. “Western countries didn’t want to deal with us. It’s only now that they’re coming forward, but we won’t go down and kneel. We don’t want a system that reduces us to labourers, no, we want to be participants in our economy; to be owners of our economy, to assert that the natural resources are ours, they’re our worth and they should be developed with assistance yes, but assistance that doesn’t reduce us to semi-slavery,” he said.