The United Arab Emirates and Japan have held high-level meetings with Japanese leaders and businessmen with the aim of strengthening economic, energy and business cooperation between the two countries. Sultan bin Ahmed al-Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change, hosted the meetings to boost opportunities for low-carbon growth.
The meetings took place as part of a three-day working visit by a number of senior Japanese officials to the UAE, including former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; Hirokazu Matsuno, Chief Cabinet Secretary; Kihara Seiji, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan; Taro Kono, Director of Public Affairs of the Liberal Democratic Party; Nishimura Yasutoshi, Member of the Japanese House of Representatives; and Tadashi Maeda, Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). In addition to future cooperation agreements, the meetings had as a secondary topic of conversation the preparations of the UAE to host the 20th edition of the Conference of the Parties to be held in 2023.
During the meetings, Al-Jaber conveyed the greetings of the UAE leadership to the Government and people of Japan, and stressed the UAE's commitment to Japan's energy security and assured that the UAE will continue to supply crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan. This good relationship is especially important as the Arab country is Japan's main supplier of crude oil, providing more than 20% of Japan's imports.
During the meeting Al-Jaber said: "Today, Japan is one of the UAE's largest and most important trade and energy partners. In line with the directives of the UAE's wise leadership, we are eager to reinforce bilateral ties and further strengthen our relationship in multiple sectors. Through public-private partnerships that will provide mutually beneficial growth opportunities and create greater prosperity for our two peoples. The UAE is keen to leverage every facet of our relationship, including climate diplomacy to drive economic development, enable low-carbon growth and enhance energy and security."
The Minister of Industry and Technology and his guests covered various topics during the meetings, including the UAE-Japan Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Initiative (CSPI), which was announced in 2018 during a visit by Shinzo Abe, the former Prime Minister of Japan, to the UAE. The main objective of the CSPI is to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and ensure even better strategic cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
In this regard, Al-Jaber stated that "the relationship between the UAE and Japan is underpinned by long-standing energy partnerships". "We are very happy to work closely with Japan to capitalise on the economic opportunities of the energy transition, strengthen industrial cooperation and expand economic and trade relations," he said.
Some of the key topics discussed during these days of meetings have included economic and industrial development, energy supply, hydrogen and climate action. In addition to the joint UAE-Japan initiatives that were reviewed, the main areas of joint interest are hydrogen and low-carbon blue ammonia.
The meetings stand as further evidence of the strong relationship between the UAE and Japan, framed by the close economic and diplomatic cooperation between the two countries. During the meetings, Minister Al-Jaber highlighted the enthusiasm of his country's leaders to further strengthen the relationship with Japan.