Japan-Kuwait Relations

May 13, 2016
H.H. Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait paid an official working visit to Japan accompanied by a high-level delegation from May 11-13, 2016, upon the invitation of Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan. 

During the visit, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah was received in an Imperial audience by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan.

Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah met with Prime Minister Abe, and expressed his deep appreciation to the Government of Japan for the warm welcome extended to him and his delegation, and extended a formal invitation to Prime Minister Abe to visit the State of Kuwait at a time of mutual convenience Prime Minister Abe accepted the invitation.

Formal discussions were held between Japan and the State of Kuwait, during which Prime Minister Abe chaired the Japanese side, and Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah chaired the Kuwaiti side.

Both sides expressed satisfaction with the bilateral relations between Japan and the State of Kuwait, appreciating the significance of the state visit of H.H Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, to Japan in March 2012, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the State of Kuwait in August 2013.

Both sides confirmed their willingness to enhance the friendly, cooperative and mutually beneficial ''Comprehensive Partnership'' between the two countries through progressive implementation in a broader range of fields such as politics, economy and culture, supported by the mutual exchange of visits by high-ranking officials, as well as various people-to-people exchanges at both public and private levels. Specifically in the field of politics, both sides confirmed their intention for deepening mutual understanding of their respective foreign policies on a wide range of global and regional issues. 

Both sides reiterated their intention to further promote cooperation under the ''Comprehensive Partnership'' as follows:

1.Bilateral Relations

Expressing their satisfaction with the outcome of the 1st meeting of the Policy Consultation held in Tokyo in April 2014 and the 1st meeting of the Political and Security Dialogue held in Tokyo in March 2016, both sides shared their intention to continue promoting these frameworks for constructive dialogue.

Emphasizing the importance of the upcoming 2nd Meeting of the Joint Committee between the Government of Japan and the Government of the State of Kuwait, scheduled to be held in Kuwait, both sides reiterated their willingness to hold this meeting as soon as possible, and their commitment to utilizing the committee as a framework for the exchange of views on bilateral relations in a wide range of areas.

On behalf of the people of Japan, Prime Minister Abe reiterated Japan's sincere gratitude for Kuwait's generous support in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011.

Kuwaiti Prime Minister expressed the deep condolences on behalf of the government and the people of the State of Kuwait regarding the victims of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake that has happened in Japan recently, wishing compassion for the victims and healing to the injured.   
Prime Minister Abe welcomed Kuwait's decision to lift the restrictions placed on the import of Japanese food since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Both sides expressed their hope that this would give a strong boost to Japanese food imports to the State of Kuwait. 

Both sides reaffirmed the importance of the stability of the global energy market. Prime Minister Abe expressed his appreciation for Kuwait's role as a major oil producing and exporting country. Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber renewed Kuwait's commitment to secure the stable supply of oil to Japan, for which Prime Minister Abe expressed his country's gratitude.

Given the significance of further strengthening the economic relationship between the two countries, both sides shared the views that they would accelerate coordination for implementation of cost-sharing technical cooperation.  

Both sides shared their determination to further strengthen the economic relationship between Japan and Kuwait. In this regard, Prime Minister Abe welcomed Kuwait's decision to abolish its offset program, expecting that the decision would contribute to the development and expansion of Japanese businesses in Kuwait. 

Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber, for his part, expressed his resolve to further develop Kuwait's business environment, highlighting the importance of infrastructure projects such as Independent Water and Power Producer (IWPP), wastewater treatment, refinery construction, metro project and integrated solar combined cycle. In this context, both sides acknowledged the essential role played by the annual Japan-Kuwait Businessmen Committee and its commitment to encouraging bilateral commercial relations since 1995.

Both sides welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of Electricity and Water in May 2015, which is the basis for the 1st Policy Dialogue on Electricity and Water Sector between Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the State of Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity and Water in May 2016. Both sides reaffirmed their intention to enhance bilateral cooperation in the development of electricity and water infrastructure.

Both sides welcomed the convening of the Policy Dialogue on the National Development of Kuwait in September 2014 based on the Memorandum of Cooperation signed in August 2014.

Both sides also welcomed the signing of two Memoranda of Cooperation by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan: one with the Ministry of Public Works of the State of Kuwait in the field of Infrastructure, and the other with the Ministry of Communication of the State of Kuwait in the field of Transportation, both in October 2014.

Recognizing the importance of environmental protection, both sides reconfirmed their intention to study the possibility of further expanding bilateral cooperation in the field of waste management. In that context, both sides welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of Municipal Waste between the Ministry of the Environment of Japan and the Municipality of Kuwait on the occasion of this visit.

Reaffirming the importance of cooperation in the medical field, the two sides shared the intention to study opportunities for further cooperation. Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber expressed his hope for Kuwait to benefit from Japan's advanced medical technologies and services.

Both sides recognized that student exchanges are essential to strengthening the historical friendship between the people of the two countries, as well as deepening mutual understanding and trust. In that spirit, both sides emphasized the importance of two-way student exchange, and stressed the importance of mutual cooperation to ease all obstacles in this regard. Both sides shared this intention to further facilitate people-to-people exchanges in various fields and establish initiatives to enhance mutual exchange in the fields of sports and culture, among others.  

The Kuwaiti side welcomed Japan's consideration of the waiver of visas for Japanese and Kuwaiti holders of diplomatic and official passports, seeking entry into the other country for diplomatic or official purposes, or for temporary visits.

Both sides reaffirmed their willingness to jointly support the early resumption of negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement between Japan and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). To this end, the Kuwaiti side expressed its willingness to play an active role in accelerating the coordination among GCC countries.

2.Global and Regional Issues

Emphasizing the close correlation between the stability of East Asia and the stability of the Middle East, both sides exchanged views on the wider security environment in East Asia and confirmed that respect for international law is a cornerstone for maintaining peace and stability in both regions.

Prime Minister Abe explained to Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Japan's ''Legislation for Peace and Security'', which is aimed at ensuring Japan's contribution toward securing peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world from the policy of Proactive Contribution to Peace based on the principle of international cooperation. Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber supported Japan's such efforts under proactive contribution to peace and stability within the framework of principles of the UN charter.   

Confirming that free open and stable seas as essential for the peace and stability for both countries. Both sides reiterated their commitment to maintaining a rule-based order in the maritime domain based on the principles of international law, in particular as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The two sides underlined the importance of peaceful dispute settlement as well as free and unimpeded lawful use of the world's oceans.

Both sides denounced North Korea's nuclear tests and subsequent missile launches this year and urged it to fully comply and implement the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and, the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. Both sides urged North Korea to immediately address the humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the abduction issues.   

Discussing with deep concern the current situation in the Middle East, both sides expressed strong solidarity with all people desiring peace in the region. Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber highly appreciated Japan's role in encouraging stability and prosperity in the region, and expressed his expectation of Japan's leadership of the G7 Summit.

Both sides emphasized the importance of an early reform of the United Nations, particularly the Security Council, including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories to make the UNSC more representative, effective, and democratic and further strengthen the credibility of the United Nations. Furthermore, both sides reaffirmed the importance of closer cooperation to achieve concrete outcomes during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Reiterating the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the two sides asserted their solid commitment to strengthening its three pillars equally, namely nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Prime Minister Abe deeply appreciated the active role played by the State of Kuwait in the field of humanitarian assistance including its hosting of a series of International Humanitarian Pledging Conferences for Syria. Both sides welcomed the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and commended the efforts of the concerned countries and the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the Geneva 1 Communiqu?, as a basis for a political solution to the Syrian Crisis, that would put an end to bloodshed, preserve independence and territorial integrity of Syria, and fulfill the aspirations of the Syrian people for a democratic State. Both sides also stressed the importance of improving the humanitarian situation in Syria.

Both sides called for the realization of a negotiated, just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, and the establishment of a sovereign, viable and contiguous Palestinian state living in peace and security with all its neighbors in line with the Arab Peace Initiative. Both sides called on Israel to refrain from any unilateral actions including continued settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its Holy Sites, and moves to change the status-quo and urged both sides to continue their negotiations to reach a ''two-state solution''. Prime Minister Abe stressed the importance that all the Parties concerned refrain from any act that does not contribute to resuming the peace negotiations.   

Both sides had a dedicated discussion on a wider range of issues regarding the latest developments in the Middle East region, including the situation in Iraq and other issues, and both sides reaffirm of importance of preserving Iraq's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and the importance of  achieving national reconciliation and reforms. The both sides affirm to encourage the Iraqi Government efforts to face the terrorist's groups which it targets Iraq and all region. 

The Japanese side expressed appreciation for Kuwait's hosting of the Yemeni Peace Talks held under the auspices of the UN lead by Special Envoy for Yemen, Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, which began on April 21st 2016, in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism and the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue conference, based on the Security Council Resolution 2216.    

Both sides welcomed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the EU3+3 and Iran, and stressed the importance of commitment to the implementation of that agreement. Both sides stressed the importance of normal relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the GCC countries based on the principles of respect for sovereignty of States and non-interference in internal affairs as well as commitment to good neighborliness.

Both sides confirm that terrorism and ideologically induced violence threaten regional and international peace, and gravely undermine economic and social development. They unreservedly condemned the attacks, atrocities and human rights abuses perpetrated by ISIL as well as its violent extremism, and called on all the countries in the region and members of the international community to stand united to confront this threat.

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