Japan-Saudi Arabia Relations
Japan-Saudi Arabia Summit Meeting
On July 16, commencing at 9:25 p.m. local time (3:25 p.m. on July 17 Japan Standard time) for approximately 90 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, held a Japan-Saudi Arabia Summit Meeting with His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, followed by a dinner hosted by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed in Al Salam Palace. The overview of the meeting is as follows. The members of the Economic Mission, who visited Saudi Arabia with Prime Minister Kishida had an audience with His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed after the dinner.
- Prime Minister Kishida pointed out that the recent agreement between Japan and Saudi Arabia to establish the Foreign Ministerial-level Strategic Dialogue is an important achievement for the two countries in order to cooperate more closely together as strategic partners toward regional stability, and reiterated Japan's unwavering support for Saudi Arabia's socio-economic reform “Saudi Vision 2030.” In addition, Prime Minister Kishida named the second chapter of the "Japan-Saudi Vision 2030," a cooperation framework concurred to in 2016, as "The Journey,” and stated that the two countries would further expand cooperation in the areas of advanced science and technology, medicine, healthcare, and other areas. He also expressed his hope to cooperate with Saudi Arabia in order to realize “Global Green Energy Hub (GGEH)”, which aims to make the Middle East region a global hub for the supply of next-generation fuels and mineral resources as well as the "Global Green Journey (GGJ)" concept, which combines GGEH with the green materials sector.
- His Royal Highness Mohammed welcomed Prime Minister Kishida's visit, expressing his desire for continued close collaboration between the two countries in a wide range of areas under the "Japan-Saudi Vision 2030". The two leaders confirmed that they will cooperate closely together in order to promote a balanced green transformation. In particular, both sides concurred to launch the "Japan-Saudi Lighthouse Initiative for Clean Energy Cooperation" as a new cooperation framework.
2. Foreign and Security Policy
The two leaders concurred to further activate interaction between the two countries in the areas of politics, diplomacy, and security, and welcomed the establishment of the Foreign Ministerial-level Strategic Dialogue that has just been agreed upon between the two countries.
- Prime Minister Kishida expressed his gratitude for the stable supply of crude oil from Saudi Arabia over the years and expressed his desire to further develop cooperation for stabilizing the global crude oil market and other various fields including oil and gas, and clean energy. In response, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed expressed his desire to work for the benefit of both the oil-consuming and oil-producing countries.
- Prime Minister Kishida, based on the concept of making the Middle East region a global hub for the supply of next-generation fuels and mineral resources, as mentioned above, expressed his desire to promote multifaceted cooperation in the areas of exploration and refining of key minerals, development of solar power generation, production and utilization of hydrogen and ammonia, and utilization of e-fuel, which was concurred by His Royal Highness Mohammed.
- The two leaders concurred on discussing to formulate tangible cooperation projects through the Saudi-Japan Lighthouse Initiative for Clean Energy Cooperation, a bilateral cooperation framework proposed by Saudi Arabia, and confirmed that they will work closely together to promote a balanced green transformation.
4. Trade, Investment and Tourism
- Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japanese companies are highly interested in investing in Saudi Arabia and that a number of companies accompanied him at this occasion. In response, His Royal Highness Mohammed expressed his expectations for Japanese companies' contribution to Saudi Arabia's industrial diversification.
- The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of capturing the vitality of growth in further strengthening bilateral relations and, in this context, they emphasize the importance of further stimulating investment and business exchanges, and promoting people-to-people exchanges between the two countries through visa relaxation and other measures. In this context, the two leaders welcomed the recent concurrence to resume FTA negotiations between Japan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
- Prime Minister Kishida expressed his desire to increase Saudi investment in Japan in areas such as semiconductors and batteries, and expressed his hope to proceed concrete discussions for promoting investment in Japan in these areas. His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed stated that he would continue to emphasize investment in Japan.
- Prime Minister Kishida expressed his hope that the cooperation between the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the National Debt Management Center (NDMC) of Saudi Arabia would leverage the knowledge and investment of Japanese companies to support Saudi efforts in the global environment field through renewable energy and energy conservation, which was concurred by the Saudi side.
- The two leaders expressed their hope that the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the tourism authorities of the two countries will stimulate mutual visitsand further cooperation in tourism between the two countries.
5. Education, culture, science and technology and sports
- Both leaders welcomed the progress made in cooperation in the areas of academics, education, sports, and culture, and agreed to further promote cooperation in these areas.
- In this context, the two leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Saudi Entertainment Academy. The two leaders also concurred to promote cooperation in the space sector.
6. International and Regional Affairs
- Prime Minister Kishida introduced Japan's efforts under the new "Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)" plan announced by Japan in March of this year, based on the rule of law and the principles of the UN Charter, the importance of which was confirmed at the G7 Hiroshima Summit this year, and expressed his desire to continue working closely with Saudi Arabia in addressing various challenges the international peace and security, including the Indo-Pacific. In response, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed expressed his pleasure at the opportunity to cooperate with Japan in various fields.
- The two leaders affirmed that they will never allow any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force anywhere in the world, and His Royal Highness Mohammed emphasized his support for Japan's position on North Korea.
- The two leaders also exchanged views on the situation in the East Asia and the Middle East, and confirmed that they will work more closely together in the international arena.