Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on a week-long tour of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey has vowed to increase collaboration and cooperation between Japan and the Middle East, in an effort to strengthen relations. Part of that partnership is a pledge of 2.2 billion dollars worth of aid to help the region achieve much-needed stability.
In his speech delivered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia entitled “Japan’s Ties with the Middle East in a New Age of Synergy, Mutual Prosperity and Cooperation,” Abe outlined several projects and programs that will help the Middle East “build lasting peace and stability” after The Arab Spring movements have left some countries democratized, and some still in turmoil. The financial assistance will mostly be low-interest yen loans to the three governments. Japan is also ready to launch high-level security dialogues with them, as they go beyond just trading oil and gas and expand their relations to politics and security.
He emphasized that Japan and the Middle East share similar interests, especially in terms of oil and gas investments and so they need to make this a “century of coexistence and co-prosperity”. He also revealed that plans are underway for two-way personnel exchanges where 20,000 people will be involved in the next five years, inviting business trainees from the Middle East to visit Japan and also sending Japanese instructors to the region. Another project in the pipeline is a “cost-sharing technical assistance” programme where specialists from the Japan International Cooperation Agency will transfer their technical knowledge to Saudi Arabia and UAE, with part of the cost borne by the host countries.
[ via Bernama ]
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