Japan-Qatar Relations

July 18, 2023
Welcoming Ceremony before the Meeting Welcoming Ceremony (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
(Photo) Japan-Qatar Summit Meeting Japan-Qatar summit meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
(Photo) Japan-Qatar Summit Meeting, Plenary Session Japan-Qatar summit meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

On July 18, commencing at 11:15 a.m. local time (5:15 p.m. Japan Standard time) for approximately 80 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting Qatar, held a Japan-Qatar Summit Meeting with His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, at the Amiri Diwan. The meeting was attended from the Japanese side by officials including Mr. ISOZAKI Yoshihiko, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, and Mr. AKIBA Takeo, National Security Advisor, and from the Qatari side by officials including His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State and His Excellency Mr. Saad bin Sherida Al-Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs. The overview of the meeting is as follows. After the meeting, members of the Economic Mission that accompanied Prime Minister Kishida to visit Qatar exchanged greetings with Amir Tamim, who then hosted a luncheon meeting.

1. Introduction

  1. At the outset Prime Minister Kishida congratulated Amir Tamim on the 10th anniversary of his accession to the throne, and stated that Japan places importance on its partnership with Qatar, which is vigorously making efforts to resolve various issues that the international community is facing.
  2. The two leaders reflected on the relationship between the two countries, which established diplomatic relations more than 50 years ago, and how it has steadily developed in a wide range of areas, and agreed that they will upgrade the comprehensive partnership between the two countries to a strategic partnership with a view to further elevating the bilateral relationship to a higher level for the next 50 years. In response, Amir Tamim expressed his hope for further strengthening the bilateral relations between Japan and Qatar, and the two leaders confirmed that they will work closely together.

2. Energy, environment and climate change

  1. Prime Minister Kishida emphasized that Japan has obtained agreement from the G7 on the importance of investing in natural gas and LNG based on the recognition that medium to long-term investment is essential. Further, Prime Minister Kishida also stated that in order to realize the stability of the global energy market, it is indispensable to discuss the matter from the perspectives of both producing and consuming countries. The two leaders agreed that they will continue to work together for the stability of the energy market.
  2. Prime Minister Kishida explained that he recognizes that LNG will play an important role in realizing the realistic energy transition in Asia and explained that Japan is developing infrastructure for LNG, providing financial support, while also assisting Asian countries in designing LNG systems.

3. Trade, investment and tourism

  1. Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan's technology has contributed to Qatar’s core infrastructure projects, and that Japanese companies are highly interested in investing in Qatar. Prime Minister Kishida also stated that many companies have accompanied him to visit Qatar as part of the Economic Mission and expressed his expectations for continued participation of Japanese companies in various areas. In response, Amir Tamim expressed his appreciation for the contributions made by Japanese companies to Qatar, and expressed his hopes for further investment and technology transfer and his desire to continue to cooperate in a wide range of areas.
  2. Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan is a promising investment destination primarily in the sectors of semiconductors and batteries, and expressed his hopes for concrete discussions on promoting investment in Japan between Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).
  3. Prime Minister Kishida stated that in order to promote economy and tourism, Qatari citizens is eligible for a general visa exemption arrangement on a pre-registration basis from April this year, and that electronic application will soon be introduced. In response, Amir Tamim welcomed the measures introduced to ease visa requirements, and his hopes for more Japanese citizens to visit Qatar and that he is delighted that many Japanese citizens are visiting Qatar.

4. Diplomacy and security

The two leaders welcomed the convening of the Second Japan-Qatar Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue in January this year. In addition, the two leaders welcomed the enhanced personnel exchanges between defense authorities, and confirmed that they will further deepen cooperation in the security field including through defense authorities of the two countries.

5. International and regional affairs

  1. Prime Minister Kishida introduced Japan’s initiatives under its new plan for the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP),” that Japan announced in March this year, which is based on the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations Charter, the importance of which was confirmed at this year’s G7 Hiroshima Summit. Prime Minister Kishida also expressed his desire to continue to cooperate closely with Qatar in responding to various issues related to international peace and security, including in the Indo-Pacific. In response, Amir Tamim expressed his appreciation for the discussions at the G7 Hiroshima Summit, his support for Japan's ideas, and his hope that both countries will cooperate together to address the challenges of the international community.
  2. Prime Minister Kishida stressed that, in light of defending a free and open international order based on the rule of law, any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force will not be tolerated anywhere in the world, while also emphasizing that as the only country to have ever suffered atomic bombings in war, Japan insists that the threat of nuclear weapons is absolutely unacceptable, let alone their use. In response, Amir Tamim stated that Qatar is opposed to any military solution to conflicts anywhere in the world.
  3. The two leaders also exchanged views regarding the situation in East Asia, and confirmed that they will cooperate even more closely in the international arena.

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