Japan: Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda pledged Wednesday to double Japanese aid to Africa by 2012 as he opened a three-day summit with leaders from the continent. Fukuda also said Japan would extend four billion dollars in soft loans to Africa over the next five years to fund infrastructure projects. "I pledge that by 2012 -- five years from now -- Japan will have doubled its aid to Africa, increasing it gradually over the years to achieve the target," Fukuda said. Japan has invited 52 African countries to the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), which it hosts every five years along with the United Nations, the World Bank and other organisations.