Countries & Regions
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Visit to Bahrain (August 24)
August 24, 2013
1. Major Events
(1) Meeting with H.R.H. Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain
(2) Attending the signing on various memorandums
(3) Joint press conference
(4) Dinner hosted by Prime Minister Khalifa
2. Overview and Results
(1) Meeting with H.R.H. Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain
After the welcoming ceremony, Prime Minister Abe held a meeting with Prime Minister Khalifa at Al-Qudaibiya Palace for approximately one hour from 05:30 (local time). Before the meeting, Prime Minister Abe introduced representatives from private sectors who accompanied him to Prime Minister Khalifa. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
A. At the Beginning
Prime Minister Abe expressed his pleasure of visiting Bahrain, the first-ever visit by Japan’s Prime Minister, and stated that he would like to further strengthen friendly and cooperative relations and construct multi-layered cooperative relations with Bahrain, a nation playing important roles in security of the Middle East and the Gulf region. In response to this, Prime Minister Khalifa heartily welcomed the first-ever visit by Japan’s Prime Minister to Bahrain and stated that he would like to expand cooperation in fields such as politics, security, economy, medical care, agriculture, and railroad.
B. Bilateral Relations
(a)“Collaboration”: Contribution for Stability in the Middle East Region
— Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention that Japan would play its political roles more for the stability of the Middle East region and in this regard, both parties shared views that the security dialogues between diplomatic and defense authorities of the two countries would be newly set up to closely coordinate with each other for the stability of the region. Moreover, both parties also shared views on cooperation in exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering and terrorist financing for the prevention of terrorism and organized crimes. The Bahrain side highly appreciated Japan’s counter-terrorism policies and minesweeping operations.
(b)“Coexistence and Co-prosperity”: Expansion and Deepening of Economic Relations
— Both parties welcomed cooperation in various fields such as cooperation in petroleum development and refinement, health and medical care, and agriculture.
— Prime Minister Abe stated that since younger generations are increasing in the countries of the Middle East region and human resources development is the base of nation building, he would like to consider human resources development through the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE), as well as implementation of cost-sharing technical cooperation by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) if necessary. The Bahrain side expressed their consent.
— The Japanese side has encouraged the Bahraini side to remove its restrictions on food imports from Japan, which was realized by this visit upon mutually decided terms.
(c) “Tolerance and Harmony”: Strengthening Cultural and Human Exchanges
— While both parties welcomed the progress of inter-government cooperation in the field of education, both parties shared views on cooperation in Japanese language education and dispatch of experts for the purpose of supporting efforts in the field of education in Bahrain.
— Prime Minister Abe stated that taking the request from the Bahrain side into account, he considered mutual visa exemption for diplomatic or official passport holders’ entrance for diplomatic or official visit or short stay. The Bahrain side welcomed it.
C. Other Issues
Since Bahrain will chair the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) this year, both parties shared views on holding ministerial-level strategic dialogues between Japan and the GCC nations as early as possible and also reconfirmed the importance of resuming negotiations for the Japan-GCC Free Trade Agreement.
(2) Attending the Signing on Various Memorandums
After the meeting, Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Khalifa attended the signing ceremony of the following four documents:
A. Statement of cooperation between the Japan Financial Intelligence Center of the National Public Safety Commission of Japan and Ministry of Interior Financial Intelligence Directorate Kingdom of Bahrain concerning the Exchange of Financial Intelligence related to Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
B. Memorandum field of Healthcare between the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan and the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Bahrain
C. Memorandum of Understanding between Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) and the Agriculture Affairs, Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, Kingdom of Bahrain
D. Clinical Study Agreement (between SBI Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. and King Hamad University Hospital)
(3) Joint Press Conference
Following the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Khalifa held a joint press conference.
(4) Dinner Hosted by Prime Minister Khalifa
A. At the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Khalifa, Prime Minister Abe introduced Prime Minister Khalifa to Japanese fruits (pears, mandarin oranges cultivated in greenhouses, muscat grapes, Yubari melon, etc.) and presented them. The presented fruits were served at the dinner and well-received by the participants.
B. Both parties also exchanged opinions on the Middle East situations and other issues during the dinner and in small-group talks before the dinner.