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Japanese PM to Embark on Gulf Tour Saturday

Japanese PM to Embark on Gulf Tour Saturday

Saturday, 11 January, 2020 - 08:00
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a past meeting in Osaka. SPA
Tokyo, London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will go ahead with a planned trip on Saturday to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman despite heightened tensions in the region.

Reuters quoted Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as saying: “Given the rising regional tensions, this trip is taking place to exchange opinions with these three nations as one part of Japanese diplomacy aimed at diffusing the overall situation.”

"We plan to dispatch Self-Defense Forces to this region to strengthen information gathering and secure the safe passage of Japan-related ships," Abe said.

Patrol planes will leave Japan on Jan. 11, while the destroyer will depart for the region at the beginning of Feb.

Past meetings between high-ranking officials from the kingdom and Japan show keenness on building a genuine partnership and achieving extensive cooperation.

The visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, to Japan, helped make a qualitative leap in historic ties between Riyadh and Tokyo, leading to the signing of several agreements.

Deals include bolstering cultural exchange, exchanging information, and reinforcing the competitiveness of SMEs in global markets, the energy sector, industrial field, international and investment development.

Saudi Arabia and Japan share a common vision towards recent issues in the region. Further, Riyadh and Tokyo are committed for a peace settlement in the Middle East based on the Arab Peace Initiative and related UN resolutions.

Additionally, Japan is devoted to maintaining unique ties with Middle Eastern countries and seeks to build an all-inclusive partnership with them namely Saudi Arabia, being a key partner for energy security in Japan.

The Saudi-Japanese commercial partnership boosts bilateral ties, as the kingdom is among Japan's top ten commercial partners while Japan is Saudi Arabia's third biggest commercial partner.

Also, Saudi Arabia ranks first in supplying Japan with crude oil and its derivatives.

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