Prime Minister Abe of Japan hails the UAE’s pivotal role in pursuit of Middle East peace
Japan’s prime minister hailed the UAE for playing a “pivotal role” in the pursuit of peace in the Middle East.
During his official visit to the country, Shinzo Abe highlighted the UAE’s efforts to safeguard regional stability during talks with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Mr Abe expressed concern over recent tensions in the region amid his country’s decision to send a navy fleet to Middle East waters to ensure maritime safety.
The Japanese leader spoke of his desire to strengthen links with the UAE after the meeting with Sheikh Mohamed at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
“This is the fourth time I have visited the UAE and met with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed. The UAE plays a key and pivotal role in pursuing sustainable development, peace and stability in the Middle East,” Mr Abe said.
The year will be a historic one for both nations, he said, as the UAE gears up for Expo 2020 Dubai and Japan prepares to welcome the world for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Sheikh Mohamed stressed the importance of the deep ties between the UAE and Japan, highlighting the partnership progress made in areas such as trade, technology, education and the space sector.
The growing friendship between the nations was exemplified by the launch of the UAE’s KhalifaSat satellite from Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan in October, 2018.
The two countries are also aiming to work more closely in the education field, with plans mooted for Japanese-language courses in UAE schools.
Last August, the new Japanese ambassador to the UAE, Akihiko Nakajima, said talks
were under way over the initiative.
“To both countries, education is one of the most important policy pillars for our prosperous future. I believe we can contribute to each other in this area,” Mr Nakajima told state news agency Wam.
Sheikh Mohamed pointed out the rich history of UAE-Japan relations, with Japan being one of the first countries to establish diplomatic links with the UAE after its formation in 1971.
A visit by the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, to Japan in 1990 was also instrumental in helping to cement a friendship stretching from the Middle East to the Far East.
Sheikh Mohamed said the UAE and Japan share an ethos of tolerance, co-existence and dialogue, while rejecting extremism.
He said that the Arab Gulf and Middle East regions face delicate and complex situations that need to be dealt with wisely, to maintain security and stability in the region.
Sheikh Mohamed outlined his support for Japan’s position on sending naval forces to the Middle East with the aim of securing its ships and protecting its oil supplies.
The Japanese prime minister wrote a note in the VIP book at Al Watan Palace, expressing his happiness at visiting the UAE.
Sheikh Mohamed later hosted a dinner banquet in honour of the Japanese prime minister.
He and Mr Abe witnessed the signing of an energy co-operation agreement between the Supreme Petroleum Council and Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy during the meeting.