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Embassy's Highlights 2008

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Conferment Ceremony of Japanese National Decoration to Mr. Abdulrahman Ali Al Jeraisy, Joint Chairman of Japan-Saudi Arabia Business Council

Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on behalf of the Government of Japan, conferred a national decoration of "the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star" to Mr. Abdulrahman Ali Al Jeraisy, Joint Chairman of Japan-Saudi Arabia Business Council (Former Chairman of Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry) on November 12, 2008.
It is worth mentioning that Mr. Al-Jeraisy has played a very important role in promoting the bilateral relationship between Japan and Saudi Arabia. Also as a Joint Chairman of the Business Council, Mr. Al-Jeraisy has never spared his efforts in enhancing business ties between two countries through various contributions, including assistance to Japanese investment in the Kingdom, improvement of the investment climate and support to many joint projects.

Mr. Jeraisy with conferment of Japanese national decoration
Mr. Jeraisy with conferment of Japanese national decoration

The 6th Meeting of the Arab-Japan Dialogue Forum Held In Riyadh on November 4, 2008

On 4 November 2008, the 6th Meeting of the Arab-Japan Dialogue Forum was hosted by Saudi Shoura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This Forum was established by Japan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt in 2003 as a dialogue platform for intellectuals from Japan and Arab countries.

Among the participants are
H. E. Dr. Taro Nakayama, Former Foreign Minister(Head of the Japanese delegation(3 members)),
H.E. Dr. Sadaka Fadil, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of Shoura Council(Head of the Saudi delegation(5 members)),
and H.E. Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director of Alexandria Bibliotheca(Head of the Egyptian delegation(6 members)).
Through the 3 sessions on the political, economic, and cultural issues, those participants exchanged their frank views freely and broader perspectives.

Meeting with H.E. Dr. Saleh bin Humaid,Chairman of Shoura Council(Picture: Saudi Press Agency) Opening Session Session Meetings
Meeting with H.E. Dr. Saleh bin Humaid,Chairman of Shoura Council(Picture: Saudi Press Agency) Opening Session Session Meetings

Mrs. Hashimoto, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, visited the Kingdom on May 17 and 18, 2008

Mrs. Seiko Hashimoto, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, visited Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) from October 17 to 18, 2008. Saudi Arabia is the first country for Mrs. Hashimoto to visit after she assumed her post in September.

During the visit, Mrs. Hashimoto had an audience with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and to further strengthen the multilayered bilateral relationship, she exchanged views on a wider range of bilateral as well as international and regional affairs with H.E. Mr. Khalid Al-Gosaibi, Minister of National Economy and Planning, H.E. Professor Mohammad Al-Suwaiyel, Director Of KACST, H.H. Dr. Turki bin Muhammad, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, and HRH Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, Assistant Minister for Oil and Mineral Resources.

Audience of H.E. Hashimoro to the King Abdullah (Picture) Saudi Press Agency
Audience of H.E. Hashimoro to the King Abdullah
(Picture) Saudi Press Agency

Signing of the Agreement between Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Air Services

On August 18, the air service agreement between Japan and Saudi Arabia was concluded and its signing ceremony was held at the Directorate of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. Mr. Shigeru Nakamura, Ambassador of Japan, as a signatory, and Mr. Toshimitsu Ishigure, Consul General of Japan in Jeddah, attended the ceremony with Eng. Mr. Abdullah Rehaimi, President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation representing the Saudi Government. Mr. Rehaimi expressed his hope in launching Saudi airlines flight to Japan in the future, while Amb. Nakamura stressed the importance of enhancing the bilateral relations in different areas and fields with the long-awaited agreement in effect.
Please visit the HP of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs below for more details.
http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/2008/8/1182668_1040.html

Ambassador Nakamura(left signatory), President Rehaimi (right signatory)
Ambassador Nakamura(left signatory), President Rehaimi (right signatory)

H.E. Mr. Akira Amari, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited the Kingdom from June 22 to 23 to participate in Jeddah Energy Meeting

H.E. Mr. Akira Amari, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Jeddah from June 22 to 23, 2008. During his visit, Minister Amari participated in the Jeddah Energy Meeting which was held under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah. Minister Amari asserted that both oil producing and consuming countries should take concrete actions to confront on-going high oil price.

Minister Amari had an audience with King Abdullah and meeting with HE Eng. Ali Bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources to exchange views how to further strengthen the cooperation in energy-related field. Mr. Amari also visited Saudi Japanese Automobile High Institute (SJAHI), where he had close interaction with Saudi trainees.

H.E. Mr. Amari participating in Jeddah Energy Meeting (Source: SPA) H.E. Mr. Amari having an audience with the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah (Source: SPA) H.E. Mr. Amari visiting Saudi Japanese Automobile High Institute (SJAHI)
H.E. Mr. Amari participating in Jeddah Energy Meeting (Source: SPA) H.E. Mr. Amari having an audience with the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah (Source: SPA) H.E. Mr. Amari visiting Saudi Japanese Automobile High Institute (SJAHI)

Mr. Hiroshi Okuda, Special Envoy of Prime Minster, visited the Kingdom from May 17 to 19, 2008.

Mr. Okuda, Special Envoy of Prime Minster, visited Riyadh from May 17 to 19, 2008. (Mr. Okuda also currently serves as honorary chairman of Japan Business Federation [Nippon Keidanren] and Senior Advisor, member of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation).

In order to develop the multi-layered relationship between Japan and the Kingdom, Mr. Okuda widely exchanged views with leading figures in the Kingdom, including politics, economy, and culture. During his stay in Riyadh, Mr. Okuda had an audience with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah and HRH Riyadh Governor Salman. Additionally, Mr. Okuda had a number of meetings, including those with H.E. Mr. Khalid Bin Mohammad Al-Gosaibi (Minster of Economy and Planning), HE Dr. Saud S. Mathami (State Minister, Acting Minister of Commerce and Industry), Dr. Mutleb Abdullah Al-Naffisah (State Minister, Acting Minster of Petroleum and Mineral Resources), HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (Assistant Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources), and HRH Faisal bin Turki bin Abdulazziz Al Saud (Advisor, Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources). Mr. Okuda also exchanged views with leading figures in business and media including HRH Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud (Executive Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company) and HRH Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (Chairman of Saudi Research and Marketing Group). Mr. Okuda also visited Higher Institute for Plastic Fabrication.

Mr. Okuda having an audience with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah (Source: SPA) Mr. Okuda having an audience with HRH Riyadh Governor Salman (Source: SPA) Mr. Okuda visiting Higher Institute for Plastic Fabrication (HIPF) in Riyadh (Source: Riyadh Newspaper)
Mr. Okuda having an audience with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah (Source: SPA) Mr. Okuda having an audience with HRH Riyadh Governor Salman (Source: SPA) Mr. Okuda visiting Higher Institute for Plastic Fabrication (HIPF) in Riyadh (Source: Riyadh Newspaper)

The First Children’s Cultural Festival

H. E. Mr. Iyad Madani, Minister of Culture and Information declared the opening of the First Children's Cultural Festival in the ceremony, after a drama performance by local kids at King Fahd Cultural Center 3rd May 2008 .
This was the first cultural and educational event in the Kingdom to target especially children. In the venue, there were many stalls and booths to sell books and educational commodities for kids from the Gulf and Middle Eastern countries, and several kinds of events and workshops, e.g., hand crafts and drawing, and animation shows for kids organized by the Ministry.
Our embassy joined this festival as a special guest of foreign countries and showed demonstration of Japanese calligraphy and Origami, Japanese paper craft for purpose of enjoying the touch of Japanese culture for the visitors.
Furthermore, a Japanese animation film titled “Nitabo”(subtitle: English) was screened as foreign animation and got much attention from the audience. The story line is about a blind boy who overcame his handicap by his great efforts to become a successful Shamisen musician.

Japanese ladies taught Origami to girls' student Demonstration of Japanese Calligraphy Can he play with a Japanese traditional toy well? Japanese Booth with a lot of visitors
Japanese ladies taught Origami to girls' student Demonstration of Japanese Calligraphy Can he play with a Japanese traditional toy well? Japanese Booth with a lot of visitors

The Japan Foundation Traveling Seminars by female scholars for Intellectual Exchange, Intellectual Dialogue between Japan and the Middle East

H.E. Mr. Kisaburo Tokai, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), arrived at Riyadh and was welcomed by H.E. Dr. Mutleb Abdullah Al-Naffisah, Minister of State for Higher Education at the airport 2 May 2008. The next day of his arrival, Minister Tokai met H.E. Prince Khalid Abdullah M. M. Al-Saud, Vice Minister of Education and discussed cooperation in the field of education between Japan and Saudi Arabia. He visited Ministry of Higher Education and met H.E. Dr. Al-Naffisah again and discussed dispatch of Saudi students under the King Abdullah scholarship program and academic exchange between both countries. Then, Minister. Tokai visited in King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and discussed the way of cooperation between two friendly countries in the field of Science and Technology with Dr Abdullah Ahmad Rasheed, the Vice President. Finally, He was warmly received by H.E. Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Abdullah Al-Othman, Rector of King Saud university who discussed the cooperation between the Ministry and the university in terms of academic field, they together toured the university and stopped by the Japanese language department, and had friendly conversation with the students. In the university, Minister Naffisah hosted a lunch for Minister. Tokai and enjoyed having conversation about various kinds of topics in the university.

With Prince Abdullah, Vice Minister of Education With Dr Rasheed, Vice President of KACST With students of King Saud University With Dr. Othman, Rector of the university
With Prince Abdullah, Vice Minister of Education With Dr Rasheed, Vice President of KACST With students of King Saud University With Dr. Othman, Rector of the university

The Japan Foundation Traveling Seminars by female scholars for Intellectual Exchange, Intellectual Dialogue between Japan and the Middle East

A Traveling Seminar by female scholars for Intellectual Exchange dispatched by the Japan Foundation visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for promoting an intellectual dialogue between Japan and the Middle East, especially the Gulf countries from 30 March to 1st April 2008. The delegation, consisting of Dr. Yoriko Meguro (Sophia University), Dr. Hisae Nakanishi (Graduate School of Nagoya University), and Dr. Eiko Kenjo (Asia University) held an open seminar of the title "Working in Today's World as Women" under the co-sponsorship of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS) at the seminar hall with about 80 audience, most of all were Saudi female intellectuals who discussed and asked a lot of inquiries towards the Japanese lecturers.
Moreover, the delegation visited several intellectual institutes; the female branch of the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), the headquarter of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), the female branch of the Saudi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), and the private house of a female professor of King Saud University (KSU), the Girl’s campus and keenly discussed and exchanged their ideas and views with Saudi intellectuals in terms of various kinds of social problems in both countries.

at the National Society for Human Rights a scene of the seminar at KFCRIS
at the National Society for Human Rights a scene of the seminar at KFCRIS

Japan-Saudi Arabia Youth Exchange Program - Visit of Japanese Youth delegation to Saudi Arabia

The Embassy of Japan hosted welcome-dinner for Japanese Youth delegation, under the Japan-Saudi Arabia Youth Exchange Program, 28 March 2008. The officials from General Presidency of Youth Welfare who headed Saudi delegation to Japan before also attended.
This program has inaugurated sponsored by Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and General Presidency of Youth Welfare of Saudi Arabia since 1999 and about 10 youths visited each partner country for the purpose of activating and reinforcing the relationship between two friendly countries.
4 Japanese youths arrived at Saudi Arabia and traveled main cities especially Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah, visiting various academic institutes and governmental authorities and meeting local people.

Japanese Youth Delegation, officials from Saudi and Japanese sides
Japanese Youth Delegation, officials from Saudi and Japanese sides

The 7th Japan Cup Horse Racing

The 7th Japan Cup Horse Racing was held at King Abdulaziz house racing track in Janadriyah, a suburb of Riyadh, 28 March 2008. The Japan Cup was presented by Japan Racing Association (JRA) to Saudi Arabia in exchange for the cup presented by Riyadh Equestrian Club to the JRA in 1999. The Japan Cup Horse Racing is one of the biggest and the last race in the season. In this year, the Japan Cup started after Magreb prayer and Mr. Seto, the Director of JRA awarded the cup to the winner and the jockey.
Japanese community and diplomatic corps here were invited to join the cup and it came to an end in a friendly atmosphere.

Cups of the Japan Cup Ambassador Nakamura, Mr. Seto, and Mr, Zenaidy, secretary general of the club A scene of house racing in the Japan Cup
Cups of the Japan Cup Ambassador Nakamura, Mr. Seto, and Mr, Zenaidy, secretary general of the club A scene of house racing in the Japan Cup

The Sixth Dialogue among Civilizations between Japan and the Islamic World in Riyadh from 23 to 25 March, 2008

On March 23-25, Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia jointly organized "The Sixth Dialogue among Civilizations between Japan and the Islamic World" in Intercontinental Hotel, Riyadh. This dialogue was initiated in 2001 by H.E. Mr. Yohei KONO, Minister for Foreign Affairs at that time. This year's round was the sixth followed by five rounds in Bahrain (2002), Tokyo, Iran, Tunisia and Tokyo. In the opening ceremony on March 23, H.E. Minister Madani for Foreign Affairs delivered a speech on behalf of H.E. Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, followed by H.E. Mr. Osamu UNO, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

From Japanese side, 13 scholars headed by Prof. Yuzo ITAGAKI, Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo as well as 5 college students participated in 2 days session on March 24-25. From Islamic countries' side, participants were from more than 30 countries of Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. More than 110 intellectuals in total from both sides attended. All participants made intensive discussions in 4 sessions "Religions in a Globalized World", "Education and Respect of Religions", "Mass Media and the Respect for Religions" and "Societies and Shared Human Values" under "Culture and Respect for Religions". For the first time in the history of the dialogue, Communique (Recommendations from scholars) was drafted and issued as an open summary of the discussions. This year's dialogue was also epoch-making, since first exchange of views among Japan-Saudi college students was initiated successfully in the history of the dialogue.

On March 24, all participants from both sides had an honor to make an audience with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques the King Abdullah. The King thanked their efforts to promote dialogue among civilizations. Further, the King while touching upon his visit to Vatican, revealed an historical idea to convene dialogue(s) among Judaism, Christianity and Islam with a possible support of the United Nations. This initiative attracted wide attention within the Kingdom as well as of scholars abroad.

H.E. Minister Madani chairs the opening ceremony Vice Minister Uno delivers his speech Prof. Itagaki chairs the 1st Session With King Abdullah at his palace
H.E. Minister Madani chairs the opening ceremony Vice Minister Uno delivers his speech Prof. Itagaki chairs the 1st Session With King Abdullah at his palace(SPA)

The Inauguration Ceremony for the Higher Institute for Plastics Fabrication

The Higher Institute for Plastics Fabrication (HIPF) in Riyadh held its inauguration ceremony on March 15th, 2008. The HIPF opened on September 8th ,2007 as a vocational training institute for Saudi operators needed in plastic fabrication industry in the kingdom in cooperation between SHARQ(a Japanese-Saudi joint venture) and the Saudi Government. The Japanese Government also contributed to the institute by dispatching experts as a part of the Japan-Saudi economic and technical cooperation.
Mr. Shigeru Nakamura, Ambassador of Japan attended the ceremony together with Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Province, Dr. Ghazi bin Abdulrahman al- Qusaibi, Minister of Labor, Eng. Ali bin Ibrahim al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mr. Khalid bin Mohammed al-Qusaibi, Minister of Economy and Planning and Mr. Abdulmohsen bin Abdulaziz al-Akkas, Minister of Social Affairs and so on. At the ceremony, the Governor Prince Salman toured the facility, unveiled a monument and made a speech, to be followed by the briefing made by Mr. Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghofais, Governor of Technical and Vocational Training Corporation on the institute. The Governor expressed his appreciation for Japan’s cooperation in launching the institute and dispatching Japanese experts. Mr. Nagai, President of Saudi Petrochemicals Development Corporation was granted an award for his contribution to the institution.

Two experts will be dispatched to HIPF by JICA shortly.

Prince Salman ,Governor of Riyadh Province (center), Ambassador Nakamura(right), Gosaibi, Minister of Labor (left)
Prince Salman ,Governor of Riyadh Province (center), Ambassador Nakamura(right), Gosaibi, Minister of Labor (left)

Riyadh International Book Fair 2008 & "Japan Days"

H.E. Mr. Iyad Madani, Minister of Culture and Information inaugurated “Riyadh International Book Fair 2008” under the patronage of the Custodian of the two holly mosques, King Abdullah ,4 March, 2008
In this year, it is the first time for the book fair’s history that the Ministry invited only Japan as “honor of the guest”, and H.E. Mr. Tadamichi Yamamoto, Director General for Public Diplomacy, MOFA joined the opening ceremony from Japan and made a speech. It was totally successful to gain the attendants, including H.E. Mr. Shigeru Nakamura, Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom and H.E. Dr. Abdulaziz Subail, Deputy Minister of MOCI with other VIP guests.
H.E. Mr. Iyad Madani and Mr. Yamamoto moved to the venue and visited several booths for the inspect and cut the tape for inauguration of Japanese special booth with so many media coverage.

H.E. Mr. Madani made an opening remark H.E. Mr. Yamamoto made an opening remark Mr. Madani & Mr. Yamamoto opened Japanese booth Mr. Yamamoto, Mr. & Mrs. Nakamura and lecturers
H.E. Mr. Madani made an opening remark H.E. Mr. Yamamoto made an opening remark Mr. Madani & Mr. Yamamoto opened Japanese booth Mr. Yamamoto, Mr. & Mrs. Nakamura and lecturers

"Japan Days" from 5-7 March also started to provide several cultural activities in the lecture hall and Japanese booth. Mr. Koichi Honda (Arabic calligrapher & professor of a university in Japan), Mr. Koichi Yamaoka (Japan Arabic Calligraphy Association), Mr. Hiroshi Shiojiri (the former ambassador to Libya), Dr. Tomoko Asomura (a professor of a university in Japan), Mr. Takamasa Sakurai (Animation creator) were invited by the Ministry of Culture and Information to delivery various kind of lectures regarding Japan and its culture. Moreover, Mr. Honda demonstrated Arabic calligraphy in his special booth and got so many visitors who had much interest in what was written by Japanese professional.

Arabic calligraphy's demonstration by Mr. Honda A scene of Mr. Shiojiri's lecture Dr. Asomura during her lecture Mr. Sakurai surrounded by many visitors
Arabic calligraphy's demonstration by Mr. Honda A scene of Mr. Shiojiri's lecture Dr. Asomura during her lecture Mr. Sakurai surrounded by many visitors

Quite a large number of visitors stopped by at Japanese booth and enjoyed several kinds of activities. Wives of the embassy's staff and students who study Japanese language in King Saud university introduced Japanese culture to visitors from 8 to 14 March

Japanese booth 1 Japanese booth 2
Japanese booth 1 Japanese booth 2