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Embassy's Highlights 2011

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Visit of H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo, Ambassador of Japan, to Toyone Village

On 19-20th December 2011, H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, visited Toyone Village, Kitashitara District, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Since Saudi Arabia became friendship country for Toyone Village at EXPO 2005 AICHI JAPAN, Toyone Village has continued to maintain exchange with Saudi Arabia. For instance, Toyone Village invites Saudi university students studying in Japan to the village during the summer/winter vacation and offers them the chance to experience the local way of life.
During his stay in Toyone Village, Ambassador Endo made a courtesy call on Mr. Minoru Ito, Mayor of Toyone Village, exchanged views on Japan-Saudi relationship with Toyone Saudi Arabia Friendship Steering Committee, and gave a lecture at Toyone Elementary and Junior High-School.
The Embassy of Japan would like to support cultural exchanges at a grass-root level between Toyone Village and Saudi Arabia.  

 Exchange of views at Toyone Elementary and Junior High School

Lecture at Toyone Elementary and Junior High School


Signing Ceremony between Hitz (Hitachi Zosen cooperation (Japan)) and SWCC(Saline Water conversion Cooperation(KSA))

On 30th November, 2011, the signing ceremony between Hitz (Hitachi Zosen cooperation (Japan)) and SWCC (Saline Water conversion Cooperation(KSA)) for development of a solar assisted thermal desalination process using a new CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) collector was held at Al-Jubail Factory of SWCC, Eastern Providence.
The ceremony was conducted with wide attendance, including H.E. Ambassador Shigeru Endo, H.E. Minoru Furukawa, Chairman & President, Hitz and H.E. Fehied F. Al Shareef, the Governor of SWCC.
The Pilot Plant Project based on this agreement will be the first case that new technology related to solar power is used for desalination purpose. The Embassy expects further enhancement of Japan-Saudi cooperation in the field of water.  And the Embassy would also like to hope sincerely that this project will contribute to strengthen the economic and industrial relationship between Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 (Reference: Hitz)

 (Reference: SWCC)

 (Reference: SWCC)


Opening of Kubota Saudi Arabia Company

On 16th November, 2011, the opening ceremony of Kubota Saudi Arabia Company which is a joint venture between Kubota Corporation and Tharawat Development Company, the Saudi investment company was held at its plant producing cracking tubes for ethylene in Second Industrial City, Damman, Eastern Province.
The ceremony was a great success attended by H.E. Ambassador Shigeru Endo, Mr. Yasuo Masumoto, Representative Director, Chairman, President & CEO, Kubota Corporation, Shaikh Zareb bin Saeed Al-Qahtani, the Undersecretary of the Governorate of Eastern Province and many guests.
This project was supported by Japan – Saudi Arabia Industrial Cooperation Task Force which is a public – private joint project between Saudi Arabia and Japan, and Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East. The plant will meet the need and requirements of these cracking tubes in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, in addition to national companies, particularly Saudi Aramco, SABIC (the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) and other companies.


Condolence of H.I.H. the Crown Prince and H.E. Dr. Yukio Hatoyama, Japanese Ambassador on Special Mission (Former Prime Minister) for H.R.H. Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, for the passing away of the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

On 26th October, H.I.H. the Crown Prince of Japan and H.E. Dr. Yukio Hatoyama, Japanese Ambassador on Special Mission (Former Prime Minister) visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to offer their condolences for the passing away of H.R.H. Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General.

In Yamama Palace, H.I.H. the Crown Prince and H.E. Dr. Hatoyama met H.R.H. Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of Riyadh Province (currently Minister of Defense), who received foreign delegations on behalf of Custodian of Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. And H.I.H. the Crown Prince offered condolences from His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. H.I.H. the Crown Prince, H.E. Dr. Hatoyama and H.R.H. Prince Salman reaffirmed the importance of strengthening the bilateral relationship between Japan and the Kingdom in wide ranging fields including the policies and economy.

 (Reference: SPA)

 (Reference: SPA)

 (Reference: SPA)


The Embassy of Japan participated in 1st Riyadh International Children's Culture Fair

From 10th to 14th October, 2011, the Embassy of Japan participated in the 1st Riyadh International Children's Culture Fair, hosted by Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information. The Embassy run a booth introducing Japanese toys and cultures, and also showed Japanese animation film Summer Days with Coo. An average of 200 Saudi visitors to Japan booth per day, mainly children and their parents enjoyed them daily.
During the event, Dr. Iwatate from Tokyo Gakugei University, invited to Saudi Arabia by Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information, gave a lecture on early childhood education in Japan, and visited kindergartens in Riyadh.
Due to the increasing young generation in the Saudi society, there is a growing interest in child education and culture. The Embassy would like to encourage and support the collaborative relationship between Japan and Saudi Arabia in the fields of child education and culture.


Ceremony of the Conferment of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun upon Dr. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid

On 9th October, H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, held the commemorative ceremony to confer Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun on Dr. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. Dr. Obaid was the Executive Director of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) from 2001 to 2010. Throughout her long career at the United Nations, Dr. Obaid has been focusing on cooperation with governments to establish programs to empower women and develop their capacities as citizens with rights and responsibilities. Also, she contributed to the success of the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD IV and the G8 Hokkaido Summit held in Japan in 2008, helping the concept of “human security”, which is one of the key elements of the Japan’s foreign policy, translated into reality through many different projects. Furthermore, she has been instrumental in enhancing public awareness of global population problems in Japan by visiting Japan about 10 times.

In his congratulatory speech, Ambassador Endo expressed his expectation that this conferment will further promote multilayered Japan-Saudi relations, referring to contributions and achievements Dr. Obaid has made at the United Nations as well as in the context of Japanese - Saudi relationship. After Ambassador Endo conveyed to Dr. Obaid the conferment of the order and the diploma from the Emperor of Japan, in her acceptance speech, Dr.Obaid expressed her gratitude for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdullaziz, who nominated her for the senior post of the United Nations, applauding Japan’s contributions to the UNFPA in the fields of “human security” as one of the top five donors of the Fund.

(LINK)
Congratulatory Speech by H.E. Shigeru Endo, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Acceptance Speech by Dr. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid (Former Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund)
Dr. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid (C.V.)


H.E. Mr. Yukio EDANO, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

H.E. Mr. Yukio EDANO, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited the Kingdom from October 9 to 10, 2011.
During his visit, Minister EDANO had meetings with H.E. Engineer Ali bin Ibrahim al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Assistant Minister for Petroleum, HRH Prince Faisal bin Truky, Advisor, Minister for Petroleum, H.E. Abdullah bin Ahmed Yousef Zainal Alireza, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and H.E. Khalid bin Mohammed al-Gosaibii, Minister of Economy and Planning, to exchange views how to further strengthen the cooperation in energy-related field, and to agree that “Japan-Saudi Business Opportunity Forum” will be held in Tokyo on 1st and 2nd February, 2012. Minister EDANO expressed his sincere gratitude for the warm support extended by the Kingdom to alleviate the suffering from the East Japan Earthquake.

The Embassy would also like to further encourage and support the development of economical relationship between both countries.

H.E. Minister. EDANO meeting with H.E. Engineer Ali bin Ibrahim al-Naimi (Reference: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan)

H.E. Minister. EDANO meeting with H.E. Abdullah bin Ahmed Yousef Zainal Alireza, Minister of Commerce and Industry, (Source: EOJ)

H.E. Minister. EDANO meeting with H.E. Khalid bin Mohammed al-Gosaibii, Minister of Economy and Planning (Source: EOJ)


Opening of Farasan Solar Power Station

On 1st October, 2011, Opening of Farasan Solar Power Station was held in Farsan Island. It is the first solar energy power plant on commercial basis implemented by the Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. (Japan) and the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) supported by Ministry of Economic Trade and Industry in Japan and Saudi Aramco. This Opening Ceremony was attended by the Showa Shell Sekiyu’s CEO, Eng. Jun Arai, the SEC’s CEO, Eng. Ali Al-Barrak, Aramoc’s CEO Eng. Khalid Al-Faleh and the undersecretary of the Governorate of Jazan Region, Dr. Abdullah Al- Suwayid, H.E. Ambassador Shigeru Endo was also invited. The establishing of this solar power plant means introducing of 500kw as clean energy and saves the transfer of equivalent of 28,000 barrels of diesel in Farasan Island.
H.E. Ambassador Shigeru Endo made a congratulatory speech with paying tribute to the people of SEC and Showa Shell who are involved in this joint project that is of special importance not only for the complementary relationship of the energy sectors of Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but also for the preservation of the beautiful Farasan Island.

At the Opening

Farasan Solar Power Station
(Ambassador Endo, SEC’s CEO, Aramco’s CEO, Showa Shell Sekiyu’s CEO, Undersecretary of the Jazan Govenor)


Japanese Film Festival

From 18th to 20th September, 2011, the Japanese Film Festival was held in Riyadh Literary Club, co-organized by the Embassy of Japan. It is the first Japanese film festival organized in Riyadh. On the opening of the event, Dr. al-Washmy, the president of Riyadh Literary Club, and Mr. Morino, Minister of the Embassy of Japan in Saudi Arabia gave speech. In the festival, three Japanese films, School in the Woods, The Twilight Samurai and Always Sunset on Third Street were screened, and 600 Saudi visitors enjoyed them.


Signing Ceremony of Memorandum between Japan and Saudi concerning cooperation on water and wastewater management

On 18th, September, 2011, Signing Ceremony of Memorandum between Japan and Saudi concerning cooperation on water and wastewater management was held in the Ministry of Water and Electricity in Riyadh.  This Memorandum was concluded between the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan, and the Ministry of Water and Electricity (MOWE) of Saudi Arabia.  In this occasion, H.E. Mr. Tadahiro Matsushita, Senior Vice Minister of METI and H.E. Mr. Kyoichi Tsushima, Parliamentary Vice Minister of MLIT visited Riyadh and signed on the Memorandum witnessed by H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo, Japanese Ambassador to KSA.  H.E. Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-Saud, Deputy Minister for Water affairs of MOWE signed on the Memorandum from Saudi side. 
The Embassy expects further enhancement of Japan-Saudi cooperation in the field of water and wastewater management in which Japan has high technology and expertise.  And the Embassy would also like to further encourage and support Japanese company’s water related business activities, following up on the Memorandum.

At the Signing Ceremony

Signing and Exchanging the Memorandum witnessed by

H.E. Shigeru Endo, Japanese Ambassador.


H. E. Ambassador Mr.Shigeru Endo Hosted a Ramadan Iftar

On Wednesday 17 August 2011, H.E. Ambassador Mr.Shigeru Endo hosted a Ramadan Iftar for the people from Japanese language learning institution in KSA, former Saudi students to Japan and Japanese businessmen in KSA. This event contributed to encourage exchanges among participants, and served as an opportunity to exchange opinions about further relationship between Japan and KSA, especially in the field of education.


Courtesy visit by the Saudi Army Officer

On August 15th 2011, the Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia H.E. Mr. Shigeru ENDO received Lieutenant Colonel Fahad Al-Mutrafy from the Royal Saudi Land Force at the Embassy.

Lieutenant Colonel Mutrafy is the first officer from the Arab states who will attend "The 11th Army Command General Staff College Student Seminar", held of the Japanese Ministry of Defenses Ground Self Defense force Command and Staff College.

This seminar is to be held during August 21st – 28th, and army officers from 13 different states will participate in it. The topic of this year's seminar is, "The Army's role in a large scale disaster".

Based on the Japanese experience on disaster relief operations, such as those carried out in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the participants will be discussing about each states' experience on disaster relief operations.

This is aimed to promote further effective humanitarian aids and international cooperation in future disasters.

Furthermore, as a pioneer of Japan-Saudi bilateral officer exchange, it is hoped that Lieutenant Colonel Mutrafy will bring the two states closer.


Graduation Ceremony for the 8th Batch Students of Saudi Japanese Automobile High Institute (SJAHI)

On 25 June 2011, a graduation ceremony for 231 students of 8th batch was held at the Saudi Japanese Automobile Institute(SJAHI)in Jeddah.H.E.Mr.Shigeru Endo,Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,H.E.Mr.Jun Yoshida,Consul General of Japan in Jeddah,H.E. Dr. Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghafees, Governor of Technical & Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) and many other guests attended the ceremony and congratulated the graduates.In the Beginning, H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo and H.E. Dr. Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghafees made congratulatory speech to the graduates.

Before the Ceremony, SJAHI current students themselves served drinks and indicated seat arrangements to their invited guests. It was a impressive fact that they have acquired Japanese ethics and discipline in SJAHI.

SJAHI current students served drinks to their invited guests

H.E.Mr.Shigeru Endo,and H.E. Dr. Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghafees Congratulatory speech by H.E.Mr.Shigeru Endo

Special awards to students by H.E.Mr.Shigeru Endo

Students' March Pass Group photo with H.E.Mr.Shigeru Endo and graduates

Cup of Japanese Ambassador of Karate

On 26th May, “the Cup of Japanese Ambassador” of Karate was jointly organized by the Embassy of Japan in Saudi Arabia and the Karate Federation in Saudi Arabia. A trophy and medals were awarded to the winners by Mr. Fumio Iwai, Chargé d’affaires of Japan in Saudi Arabia. With the attendance of Mr. Saud bin Ali al-Abdulaziz, Deputy of the General Presidency for Sports Affairs, Mr. Ibrahim bin Muhammad al-Gannas, President of Saudi Arabian Karate Federation and many Saudi people, this championship contributed to promoting the sports exchanges between Japan and Saudi Arabia.


A meeting with HRH Prince Muteb bin Abdullah, Minister of State, Member of the Council of Ministers and Chief of National Guard, KSA

On 1st May, Ambassador of Japan in Saudi Arabia, H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo paid a visit HRH Prince Muteb bin Abdullah, Minister of State, Member of the Council of Ministers and Chief of National Guard, with representatives of Japan Pavilion Preparatory Committee of Janadriyah Festival. During the meeting, Ambassador Endo expressed his gratitude to HRH Prince for the fact that many Saudi people visited the Japan Pavilion. The Ambassador also exchanged views with HRH Prince on further strengthening relations between Japan and Saudi Arabia.


Karate Expert visited the Kingdom

Mr. Hideto Tsuchiya, a Japanese Karate expert, visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from January 12th to March 27th, 2011, with the support of the Japan Foundation. By requests from Saudi Karate Federation, Mr. Tsuchiya visited Riyadh, Jeddah, Tabuk, and Abha etc. to train Karate coaches and players in the Kingdom. This contributed to promote the exchange of culture and sports between Japan and Saudi Arabia.

A scene of training by Mr. Tsuchiya (Riyadh)

Group photo with Saudi Karate coaches (Riyadh)


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

On March 15th 2011, the Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo received the Japanese youth delegation at his residence to hold a report meeting. The delegation was on a program to visit the Kingdom from March 7th to March 17th. The Youth Exchange Program is an event based on the agreement on youth exchange signed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah (then Crown Prince) during his visit to Japan in 1998. Through the inter-visitation every year, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the General Presidency of Youth Welfare of Saudi Arabia, the program has promoted the youth exchange between Japan and Saudi Arabia. This year, 10 Japanese youth composed by students and businessmen traveled to Riyadh, Jeddah, and Abha, visiting administrative and educational institutions, and grew closer with Saudi youth. At this report meeting was also attended by Mr. Khalid Mahboub, General Directorate of Activities of Youth and other staffs of the General Presidency of Youth Welfare.


KAMIKIRI (Japanese traditional paper cutout) Demonstration and Workshop

Mr. Imamaru Hayashiya, Japanese famous paper cutout artist, visited the Kingdom from March 5th to 7th, 2011, supported by the Japan Foundation.  During his stay in Riyadh, Mr. Imamaru visited 3 schools (King Faisal School, Al-Tarbiyah Al Namouthajiyah School and Kingdom School) to demonstrate KAMIKIRI and to conduct workshops for students and teachers of these schools.

The students who participated in the workshop showed great interest in the performance of Mr. Imamaru and made their first attempt on KAMIKIRI.  Finally, they made remarkable pieces of KAMIKIRI works such as cutouts of rabbit, lion and heart.  Children as well as adults enjoyed KAMIKIRI very much in this event and deepened their understanding of Japanese traditional culture through their own experience.

KAMIKIRI demonstration at Al-Tarbiyah Al Namouthajiyah School

KAMIKIRI workshop at Kingdom School Group photo at King Faisal School

The 10th Japan’s Cup

On March 4th, the 10th Japan’s Cup hosted by the Equestrian Club of Riyadh was held. Mr. Hiroyuki Masumitsu (Director of Japan Racing Association) was invited to the Race as the cooperator, along with the Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo. The Japan’s Cup is one of the cultural events between Japan and Saudi Arabia since 1999, hosted by the Equestrian Club of Riyadh, and cooperated by the Japan Racing Association. Many Saudi citizens and Japanese residents in Saudi Arabia came to see the race. At the award ceremony after the race, with the attendance of the Ambassador and Mr. Zunaydi, Secretariat General of Equstrian Club of Riyadh, a trophy was awarded to the winner by Director Masumitsu.


Courtesy visit by a Cadet of Saudi Air Force Academy

On February 27th, the Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo received Saudi Air Force Academy Cadet Naif Ali Salamah at the Embassy. The Japanese National Defense Academy invited Mr. Salamah to the 14th International Cadets Conference (20 cadets participants from 17 different countries) held during March 3rd-10th. He was the first participant to the conference from an Arab country. It was also the first time for the Saudi Armed Forces to send a student to the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, and it is expected to contribute in promoting the personnel exchanges between Japan and Saudi Arabia.


HITACHI Office Use Air-Conditioner Opening Ceremony

15th January 2011(SAT), H.E. Ambassador Shigeru ENDO was invited to the Opening Ceremony for HITACHI to begin its sales of Air-Conditioner for office use. The Ambassador gave a speech, in front of 200 guests, on HITACHI’s contribution to Saudi Arabia and on the further development of relationship between Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Among the guests were the H.E. Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Jerasy, Chairman of Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and H.E. Mr. Azzam Al-Shalabi, President of National Industrial Cluster Development Program.