Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on the second leg of his four-nation trip, on Tuesday agreed with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to start discussions between the two countries regarding a bilateral agreement which could see Japan exporting its nuclear technologies to the Middle Eastern kingdom-state. The agreement for the start of nuclear negotiations between the two countries is only one among the varied issues Abe discussed with the crown prince, with the Japanese premier hoping to accomplish much on what is the first trip by a Japanese prime minister to the kingdom since 2007.
In his meeting with Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Abe assured the efficiency and safety of Japanese nuclear technology, even after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. “Japan is enhancing the safety level of its nuclear plants,” Abe said. Among other issues, the two leaders also agreed to launch a security dialogue diplomatic and defense officials on both countries as a part of efforts to enhance national security areas of their governments. Abe commended the Middle Eastern nation as it continues to provide a steady supply of oil to Japan, which is sorely lacking in that resource, but in obvious need most of the nuclear plants in Japan have been idled after the March 2011 disaster. To fill in the gap of thermal generation, Japanese power plants have been burning fossil fuels. Saudi Arabia is Japan’s biggest crude oil supplier, accounting for 30 percent of its total imports in 2011. Rising fuel costs and a weakening yen have meant that Japan is on a look out for cheaper fossil fuel suppliers.
Lastly, Abe and the crown prince also released a joint statement mentioning the importance of the safety of sea lanes and their impending cooperation in nuclear and renewable energies. To cap the meeting, representatives from the two countries also signed an investment deal facilitating cooperation and access of Japanese firms to the world’s biggest oil producer. Before the Middle East, Abe had visited Moscow to pursue diplomatic relations and trade agreements with Russia, another country rich in fossil fuel resources. His trip will last until Saturday, where he will also visit the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan