Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, is reportedly planning a diplomatic tour of the Middle East in July, with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar earmarked as his destinations, according to governmental insiders.
A cornerstone of Kishida’s discussions with leaders of these Middle Eastern nations is anticipated to be the stabilisation of crude oil prices. Additionally, the Japanese Premier is keen to foster collaboration in securing reliable sources of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for Japan, the insiders revealed.
Saudi Arabia’s role in the G-20
During his sojourn to Saudi Arabia, which is part of the Group of 20 (G-20) – an international forum of major economies that also counts Japan as a member – Prime Minister Kishida is expected to underscore the importance of collaboration for the upcoming G-20 summit, slated for September in India.
Deepening security ties with the UAE
The United Arab Emirates segment of his visit is particularly noteworthy as the Prime Minister is likely to engage in discussions surrounding bolstered security cooperation. Notably, the UAE became the first Middle Eastern nation to sign a defence equipment and technology transfer agreement with Japan, just last month.
Expanding the horizons of cooperation
At a press conference on Tuesday, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi highlighted Japan’s commitment to expanding relations with Middle Eastern countries beyond traditional energy concerns. He stated, “Japan is working on advancing relations in not only the field of traditional energy but also various other areas, such as clean energy.”
The rescheduling of a cancelled visit
It’s worth noting that a similar tour to the UAE and Qatar was originally slated for August of the previous year but was subsequently cancelled due to Prime Minister Kishida testing positive for COVID-19.
The upcoming tour reflects Japan’s ongoing commitment to strengthen ties and foster collaboration with key Middle Eastern countries in an array of sectors, including energy, security, and sustainable development.
Image Credit: Cabinet Public Relations Office, Cabinet Secretariat