After signing with Bahrain, Japan now building strategic partnership with Qatar
Abe is on a six-day trip through Thursday that has taken him to Bahrain, Kuwait, Djibouti and Qatar.
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Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said his country and Qatar have agreed to build a “partnership for stability and prosperity” and the three agreements signed during his current visit to Doha will further enhance the already strong bilateral relationship.
Addressing a press conference in Doha yesterday, Abe said: “The two countries (already) have a strong partnership centring on energy, and using this as a basis, over the years, we have built a mutually beneficial relationship.”
Abe said that during the visit “I was able to witness the signing of three documents - a policy dialogue between the respective foreign ministries, on co-operation in the field of oil and natural gas and on acceptance of Qatari trainees in oil and natural gas”.
Qatar is Japan’s second largest LNG supplier and the third largest oil supplier, he said.
“Japan is Qatar’s first importer of LNG. We are one of the biggest buyers of Qatari oil.”
Abe said that during his current visit Japan agreed with Qatar to “start negotiations for an investment agreement”.
“I am certain that this will lead to further development of bilateral relationship. And I believe these are good examples of the fruition of seeds sown during my visit to Qatar in 2007.
“The Japanese government and the private sector will work together with the Qatar not only in the fields of energy and economy but also in deepening bilateral co-operation in broad areas. Japan will work even more closely with Qatari side.”
Earlier in a statement prior to the press conference, Abe said: “Qatar is a major crude oil and gas supplier for Japan and the largest donor of assistance to Japan in the wake of the massive earthquake in the country".
“HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani kindly said Japan is a model of peace and prosperity to learn from. Japanese companies are highly respected in Qatar.
“Sheikh Tamim also said he was impressed to see Japanese people’s discipline and good manners. Sheikh Tamim also expressed strong interest in Japan’s education system. We reached an agreement to co-operate in many areas, including education, medical service and agriculture.
“Japan is highly dependent on the Middle East oil and gas. The Middle East is indispensable to the lives of the Japanese people. That’s why Japan must shift its relations with the Middle East beyond energy. And contribute to the development of the Middle East nations.”
Abe said: “The public and private sectors on both sides must work together in all areas including education, medical service, infrastructure and agriculture. Japan needs to contribute its technology and know-how. This will be not only be beneficial to Japan but also will lead to a more multi-tier relationship with the Middle East nations.”
He also stressed on the need for peace and stability in the region.
Abe calls for closer cultural bond
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said yesterday that his country was keen to establish a cultural partnership with Qatar. Speaking to the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) on the sidelines of a visit to the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Abe said the celebration last year marking 40 years of the establishment of Qatari-Japanese diplomatic relations was fruitful in expanding scopes of cultural co-operation. Abe was accompanied during his tour of the museum by Rashid al-Hajeri, director of protocols and international relations department at Qatar Museums Authority.
By: Pratap John
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