Expanding Ties: What's Behind Saudi King's Visit to Tokyo

  • Expanding Ties: What's Behind Saudi King's Visit to Tokyo

Expanding Ties: What's Behind Saudi King's Visit to Tokyo

Japan will offer extensive support in infrastructure development, renewable energy, health care and other fields.

In the joint statement, the two countries also pledged to pursue synergy effects of Saudi Vision 2030 and Abe's growth strategies for Japan. "Saudi Arabia is aiming to obtain aid both from Japan and China by hedging between the two countries", a diplomatic source said. This is why Saudi leaders seek closer cooperation with the two countries in these areas.

When Prince Mohammed visited Tokyo last September, Abe assured him that Japan was keen to participate.

Last month, the Saudi monarch went to Indonesia on his first trip outside the Middle East and North Africa since he visited the United States in 2015.

Saudi Arabia is Japan's largest oil supplier, with about one-third of all oil imports in 2015 coming from the kingdom. The visit, expected to result in the signing of several agreements, will expand partnerships between the Saudi business sector and Japanese and Chinese counterparts, Tariq Al-Qahtani, the board chairman of the Saudi-Japanese Business Council, told local media. The economic program, though, could pave the way for a new business relationship between the countries. The number of Saudi-Japanese joint ventures in the Kingdom reached 83 projects, including 24 industrial and 59 non-industrial plans.

Japan has launched a diplomatic offensive at the highest level in an attempt to lure Saudi Aramco to Tokyo for its $100 billion initial public offering.

On the sidelines of the King's visit, the Saudi Stock Exchange "Tadawul" and the Japan Exchange Group, Inc.

Japan's support for Saudi Arabia was expressed in a meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Monday, underscoring the fact that Japan regards Saudi Arabia, a major power in the Middle East, as the key to maintaining stability in the region. Earlier, he visited Malaysia and Indonesia, the largest predominately Muslim nations in Southeast Asia. After leaving Tokyo, the king is to lead his entourage of more than 1,000 cabinet members and corporate executives on to China.