Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a summit with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Salman last Wednesday to strengthen diplomatic ties between the two countries. The Crown Prince, also his nation’s deputy premier and minister of defense, went to Tokyo under orders from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah with the purpose of renewing bilateral relations that would be beneficial to both nations.
The two leaders witnessed the ratification of three important agreements. Governor of SAGIA Abdullatif Al-Othman and JCCME president Okoda signed a Memorandum of Agreement for a joint investment project between Japan’s Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME) and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). Following that was the approval of a joint venture called Toray Membrane Middle East Company between the Abu Nayan holding company of Saudi Arabia and Toray Corporation for Industries of Japan. Abu Nayan executive manager Khalid Abu-Nayan and Toray executive chief Akihiro Nikakko both signed the agreement. A third treaty between Saudi and Japanese businessmen was also concluded and endorsed by tariq Al-Qahtani and Saito.
100 years ago, a Japanese Muslim went to Saudi Arabia for Haj and that started their fruitful ties, with trade between the two amounting to SR 1.5 trillion for the past ten years. Abe hopes to cultivate the relationship more, saying, “In the coming 100 years we are determined to build a new era of relations.” While in Tokyo, the crown prince also met up with Japanese Emperor Akihito, Crown Prince Naruhito and PM Abe. He was feted with a luncheon in his honor hosted by the Japanese emperor. Also present at the gathering were Saudi Ambassador to Tokyo Abdul Aziz Turkistani and Japanese Ambassador Jiro Kodera. Abe took the opportunity to express gratitude for the hospitable treatment he received on his last visit to the Kingdom.
[via Arab News]