Middle East

January 28, 2015
On January 22, 2015, the Japan-GCC Strategic Dialogue Senior Officials’ and Experts’ Meeting was held at Mita-Kaigisho in Tokyo. Mr. Yasushi Misawa, Deputy Director-General for Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed the Japanese delegation, while H.E. Amb. Yousuf Issa M. Al-Jaber, Director of GCC Affairs Department at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, and H.E. Dr. Abdel Aziz Abu Hamad Aluwaisheg, Assistant Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council for Foreign Affairs, headed the GCC delegation. Officials from relevant ministries and organizations of both sides also participated. The overview of the meeting is as follows:

1. Both sides exchanged views on ways to further promote mutual cooperation between Japan and GCC including its member states in a practical manner under the framework of the Japan-GCC Strategic Dialogue launched in 2010. Both sides also welcomed tangible progress in the dialogue and cooperation between Japan and GCC in a variety of fields on various levels, especially after the visit by H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, to all the GCC member states from 2013 to 2014.

2. Senior Officials of both sides headed by Mr. Misawa and Amb. Al-Jaber held a political dialogue in which they exchanged views on the situation in the Gulf and the Middle East. The Japanese side explained the contributions by Japan to the peace and prosperity of the region, including the aims and outcomes of the recent visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Palestine from January 16 to 20. The GCC side explained its views on the situations in the Gulf and the Middle East. With regard to the warning of murdering Japanese nationals in a video clip, which seems to have been produced by ISIL, the GCC side expressed the sympathy and warm support for Japan’s position.

3. In addition, three experts’ level meetings on Trade and Investment, Health and Agriculture were held in the afternoon of January 22 to discuss ways to promote working-level pragmatic cooperation and information exchange in such fields as below. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Labour and Wealth, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and other relevant organizations participated from the Japanese side, while officials from the GCC Secretariat General and relevant governmental and private organs of the GCC member states participated on the GCC side.
a. Trade and Investment
Both sides discussed ways to promote cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, including protection of intellectual property rights. The discussion also covered possibilities of promoting cooperation between private sectors of both sides, as well as the exchange of information on industrial development.
b. Health
The Japanese side introduced the activities of Medical Excellence JAPAN in GCC, as well as activities of the consortium under the leadership of the Shoenkai Medical Foundation for promoting a Japanese method of dialysis treatment in Saudi Arabia. Both sides decided to continue the exchange of information and opinion on promoting cooperation and business in the field of health between Japan and GCC.
Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries explained the latest information related to the safety of Japanese food, and requested GCC’s further easing and lifting of restrictions on the imports of Japanese food imposed after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. Both sides also shared the view to promote information exchange and to strengthen contacts between the concerned authorities of both sides.

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