The Diplomat published on 16 September 2016 a commentary titled "Can Japan Challenge China in Africa?" by Jonathan Connars, an American investment risk analyst.
He concludes that if Japan wishes to challenge China's dominance in Africa, it has an uphill battle ahead of it. The article states that "no less than 39 African countries publicly opposed a recent ruling from The Hague declaring China's maritime claims in the South China Sea illegal" in an effort to underscore the weakness of Japan's support in Africa. The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, which tracks positions on the South China Sea dispute, reports that so far only Sudan in Africa has publicly aligned itself with China in opposing the ruling from The Hague. Algeria made a neutral statement without addressing the ruling.