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Embassy's Highlights 2006

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Sustainable Growth of Japan and Future of Japan-Saudi Arabia Relations

Embassy of Japan and King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies organize a lecture by Dr. Naoki Tanaka, a renown Japanese Economist and a former consultant of former Prime Minister of Japan, as following;

Title: Sustainable Growth of Japan and Future of Japan-Saudi Arabia Relations
Lector: Dr. Naoki Tanaka, President of Center for International Public Policy Studies
Date: 24th (Sat) March 2007
Time: 13:30~
Place: King Faisal Center (KFCRIS), Auditorium, King Faisal Foundation Building, King Fahd Road Olaya, Riyadh
Language: English (translated simultaneously into Arabic)t and a former consultant of former Prime Minister of Japan, as following;

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Donation of Japanese Books in Arabic for Children to Saudi Local Schools (November, 2006)

The Embassy of Japan started distributing Japanese books to schools, public libraries and research centers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 80 copies (4 books) were prepared for this purpose. All these books were translated from Japanese into Arabic and published by Japan Foundation. Japan’s semi-governmental organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding through cultural exchanges.

On November 27th, four of these Japanese books were presented to Mr. Khalid Al-Dukhayil, Principal, Junior high school of Najd National School. The Embassy hopes that reading these books will provide the Saudi youth with good opportunities to foster interest in the literature and culture of Japan.

The visit of H.R.H CP Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to Japan in April opened a new page in the history of bilateral relations. The Joint Statement entitled “Toward the building of strategic an multi-layered partnership between Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” announced that the two countries will further promote dialogues and exchanges at all levels including the cultural field. Translation of Japanese books into Arabic and their presentation to the Saudi people is intended to deepen mutual understanding, particularly among the younger generation.

One scene from the Saudi-Japan Investment Workshop

Saudi-Japan Investment Workshop (November, 2006)

The Saudi-Japan Investment Workshop was held in Riyadh on November 21, 2006. It was hosted by Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) in cooperation with the Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

Japanese delegation including a number of CEO’s from Japanese business communities, headed by Mr. Jiro Nemoto, Chairman of JCCME, participated in the workshop. From the Saudi Side, HE Mr. Amr A Al-Dabbagh, Governor of SAGIA, and senior officials from the government and business people attended the workshop. Participants exchanged their views on how to promote the Japanese investment to the Kingdom.

In addition, Japanese delegation had an audience with the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and a meeting with HE Mr. Khalid Bin M. Al Gosaibi, Minister of Economy and Planning on the same day.

The visit of the Japanese economic delegation to the Kingdom is very important in further strengthening the bilateral economic relationship between the two nations.

Reference> Opening Remarks by HE Mr. Shigeru Nakamura, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
One scene from the Saudi-Japan Investment Workshop

The 1st Japan-Saudi Energy Consultation Meeting (November, 2006)

The 1st Japan-Saudi Energy Consultation Meeting was held in Riyadh on November 18, 2006. Japanese delegation headed by Mr. Harufumi Mochizuki, Director-General, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, met with Saudi team represented by HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Assistant Minister for Petroleum Affairs, Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

At the meeting, both sides exchanged their views on various issues including the forecast on supply and demand of energy, bilateral cooperation, and Japan’s “New Energy Strategy.”

The beginning of the energy talks between the two nations, which coincided with the start of the negotiation on Japan-GCC Free Trade Agreement and Japan-Saudi Bilateral Investment Treaty, is important in further strengthening the bilateral ties in the energy sector. The next meeting will be held in Tokyo next autumn.


The First Round of Negotiations on the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Japan and Saudi Arabia

Japan and Saudi Arabia held their first round of negotiations on the Bilateral Investment Treaty on October 5 and 6 in Tokyo. Dr. Al-Awwad, Deputy Governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and Ambassador to Japan Mr. Trad represented Saudi Arabia. They met their Japanese counterparts headed by Mr. Hideki Ito, Deputy Director for Middle Easter and Africa Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Discussion centered on the negotiations process ahead and their timetables. The next round of negotiations is scheduled in Riyadh within the year 2006.


The First Round of Negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement between Japan and the GCC Countries

Japan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held their first round of negotiations September 21 and 22 in Tokyo. The GCC, consisting of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, sent its delegation headed by Dr. Al-Bazai, GCC Coordinator-General for Negotiations, while the Japanese Delegation was headed by Mr. MItoji Yabunaka, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The 2-day negotiation was successful. Both side exchanged views on such issues as reduction and eliminations of tariffs in the field of trade in goods and services. The next round is scheduled in Riyadh within the year 2006.


Mr. Nakagawa, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, visited the Kingdom from August 20th to 22nd, 2006.

During his visit to Jeddah, Mr. Nakagawa had an audience with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, in addition to the meeting with HE Dr. Fahd bin Abdulrahman bin Sulaiman Balghunaim, Minister of Agriculture and HE Dr. Hashim bin Abdullah Al-Yamani, Minister of Commerce and Industry, where a wide range of discussion including issues on agriculture was conducted.

In addition, Mr. Nakagawa exchanged views with the Japanese business community in Jeddah and visited several sites including the poultry farm, the project on desert environment protection, Saudi Japan Automobile High Institute (SJAHI) and PETRO Rabigh.

Mr. Nakagawa’s visit, as an important high-level mission following the visit of Prime Minister Koizumi in 2003, greatly contributed in further strengthening the friendly relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Japan.

Mr. Nakagawa having an audience with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud (Picture: SPA)

Reception of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces Day

On June 13, a reception was held at the Ambassador's Residence on the occasion of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces Day.

The reception is held annually in June or July to commemorate the creation of the JSDF on July 1, 1954. This reception also became the first opportunity for Ambassador Shigeru Nakamura, who arrived in May, to host a large-scale event.

During the reception, the guests including ambassadors and Saudi generals enjoyed our original cuisines such as Yakitori and Tempura prepared at the stands, and a film was shown to introduce the JSDF international activities. The reception ended successfully, as about 250 guests participated in the event.

Guests enjoyed our original cuisines at the stands.