Japanese Prime Minister Fumio To Visit Saudi Arabia On Sunday
PARIS - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will start his first official visit to the Middle East on Sunday, aiming to strengthen ties with key energy suppliers and promote Japanese technologies for a green transition.
Kishida will visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar from July 16 to 19, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno. He will meet with the leaders if each country and discuss issues such as regional security, economic cooperation and climate change.
Japan relies heavily on the Middle East for its energy needs, importing most of its oil from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with Saudi Arabia and UAE among the top supplies for Japan. He will also offer Japanese technologies and expertise for developing cleaner and renewable energy sources, such as hydrogen and ammonia, as both Japan and Middle East countries have set ambitious goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Kishida’s visit comes amid a changing geopolitical landscape in the region, as the United States shifts its focus to Asia and China expands its influence. Japan hopes to maintain its friendly relations with the Middle East countries, which share common interests in maintaining peace and stability in Asia.
Kishida’s trip will also mark his first overseas visit since he took office in October last year, following his predecessor Yoshihide Suga’s resignation. Kishida has said that he wants to pursue proactive diplomacy that reflects Japan’s values and interests.