Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary Norio Maruyama
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 4:51 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Visit to Japan by the King of Saudi Arabia
Gezi, Asahi Shimbun: The King of Saudi Arabia will be visiting Japan at the end of this week, which will be the first visit by a Saudi Arabian King in 46 years. Please explain your expected outcomes.
Mr. Norio Maruyama, Foreign Press Secretary: Saudi Arabia has the second largest proven crude oil reserves and crude oil production volume in the world. It is also the largest crude-oil supplier to Japan. The two countries have built a very friendly relationship since the establishment of their diplomatic relations in 1955. Additionally, the Imperial Family of Japan and the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia have longstanding interactions and history together. This will be the first visit to Japan by a Saudi Arabian King since 1971. We expect that this visit to Japan by Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Salman will further deepen the ties and cooperative relationship between our two countries.
Odanaka, Mainichi Shimbun: With the start of the Trump administration, the United States is anticipated to review or alter its Middle East policy. In this regional context, what is Japan hoping to accomplish in the meeting? How is it being positioned?
Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: During the visit, His Majesty the Emperor of Japan will invite the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King to the Imperial Residence for a luncheon, and Prime Minister Abe will hold a meeting with the King and host a dinner in his honor. As I stated moments ago, Japan and Saudi Arabia have a very long relationship, and we believe these longstanding ties with Saudi Arabia are very important for the relationship between the two countries and with the region. Japan will further advance the bilateral relationship based on this type of comprehensive perspective.