Abe’s visit ‘to further boost Qatar-Japan relations’

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Daisy

Qatar-Japan relations will receive a further boost with the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Qatar today, ambassador Kenjiro Monji said yesterday.

“We are trying to enlarge and diversify our relations with Qatar with this two-day tour, featuring a high-level delegation,” he explained.

“Prime Minister Abe was in this region earlier in May and he is now visiting again after three months; this indicates the importance that Japan attaches to the Middle East, especially Gulf countries,” Monji said.

Abe is arriving in Qatar after visiting Bahrain, Kuwait and Djibouti. He will be accompanied by a 200-strong delegation comprising academics, chief executive officers, chairmen and presidents of nearly 50 companies.

Among the business delegates are those in energy, infrastructure and medical as well as agriculture sectors.

During his stay in Qatar, Abe will hold a series of meetings with HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Prime Minister and Minister of Interior HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani.

He will open the Japan-Qatar Business Forum tomorrow morning. Ahead of the forum, there will be a number of agreement signing ceremonies at the Emiri Diwan between the two countries.

“The agreements will have three themes namely: political, that is policy dialogue between government levels; economical, which has energy as the core of the relations and education, culture and people-to-people exchanges,” Monji said.

He said that talks would revolve around bilateral, regional and global issues.

“There are a lot of issues to discuss about the Middle East at the moment, especially with Qatar being very active in the region on the issues of security and safety,” he noted.

Asian issues are also likely to be discussed during the meetings.

He said that the prime minister would express Japanese people’s gratitude to Qatar for its support of $100bn as well as the supply of liquified natural gas (LNG) and liquified petroleum gas (LPG) to Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

He insisted that the timing of the visit was right being one of the first full-fledged delegations visiting Qatar after HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad took over as the Emir.

The Japanese prime minister plans to visit the Hamad International Airport and the Museum of Islamic Art during the visit, Monji added. Pages 3, 5

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