His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, held talks with Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who is on an official visit to the UAE.
During their meeting, both sides discussed the bilateral relations between the UAE and Japan and ways of supporting and enhancing them.
At the start of their meeting, held at the Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed welcomed Abe and expressed his regards to the Japanese people on the occasion of the New Year.
He also thanked Abe for answering his invitation to attend Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020, which reflects their cooperation in achieving local, regional and international sustainable development.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed stressed that the relations between the UAE and Japan are rooted and deep and have witnessed progress in the areas of trade, energy, investment, technology, space and education during the past decades.
He also pointed out that Japan was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the UAE in 1971, and the visit of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to Japan in 1990 was the turning point in their bilateral relations.
H.H. Sheikh Mohamed addressed Abe by stating, "Your visit to the UAE in 2018 was a strong boost to our relations, especially as it resulted in an agreement to develop our cooperation through a comprehensive strategic partnership initiative. The UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is keen to enhance and activate this strategic partnership."
Sheikh Mohamed explained that what makes the relations between the UAE and Japan important is that they represent two leading regional and international development models and they share a system of civilised values that call for tolerance, coexistence and dialogue, and rejects extremism, terrorism, hatred and racism, no matter the source.
Sheikh Mohamed stated that the Arab Gulf and Middle East regions go through delicate and complex situations which need to be dealt with wisely, to maintain security and stability in a region of strategic importance to global peace and security.
He added that interference by certain regional powers in the internal affairs of Arab countries is one of the most important and dangerous sources of tension, conflict, and instability in the region.
His Highness highlighted the UAE's firm stance in supporting stability and peace in the region, ensuring the flow of oil from the Arabian Gulf to Japan and the world, and maintaining the security of international shipping lines. He also affirmed that the UAE joining the "International Alliance for the Safety and Protection of Maritime Navigation and Ensuring the Safety of Maritime Corridors" proves its keenness to contribute to any international or regional effort and deter threats to international navigation and global energy supplies.
He expressed his appreciation for Japan's wise and balanced policy towards the Arabian Gulf and the Middle East.
While welcoming Japan's position on sending the Maritime Self-Defence Forces to the Middle East with the aim of securing its ships and protecting its oil supplies, His Highness affirmed that this position is in line with that of the UAE, which supports every step that contributes to the safety and freedom of navigation in the region. He said it is also in line with the UAE's policy in support of establishing the pillars of security and stability in the region.
The Prime Minister of Japan thanked Sheikh Mohamed for the warm hospitality and for his invitation to him to attend Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020, expressing his country's keenness to reinforce relations and strategic partnership with the UAE in various domains.
"This is the fourth time I visit the UAE and meet with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The UAE plays a key and pivotal role in pursuing sustainable development, peace and stability in the Middle East," Abe said.
He also expressed his appreciation for the UAE's policy towards developments in the Arabian Gulf and the Middle East, aimed at de-escalating tension and maintaining regional peace.
"This certainly reflects the UAE leadership's wise and balanced approach and the country's role in maintaining regional stability," he added.
The Japanese Prime Minister expressed Japan's concern over the situation in the region and referred to its continuous efforts to escalate regional tension and the decision to send a Maritime Self-Defence Forces to the Middle East to ensure safety of navigation. He added that Japan is interested in strengthening cooperation with the UAE.
He also said that the 2020 is going to be a historic year for the UAE and Japan as the former will host EXPO 2020 Dubai, while the latter will play host Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Abe conveyed Emperor of Japan's greetings and best wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He lauded the attendance of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, at the official ceremony of the inauguration of His Majesty Emperor Naruhito, New Emperor of Japan, in October.
He also expressed appreciation for granting Japanese companies concessions for oil exploration and the UAE's continuous oil supplies to Japan.
The Japanese Prime Minister wrote a note on the VIP Book at Al Watan Palace, expressing his happiness to visit the UAE, while highlighting the strong ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries as well as his best wishes of more progress and growth for the UAE.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Shinzo Abe met with a group of Emirati students who are studying at the Japanese universities and engaged in cordial talks with them about their specialisations and academic life.
Sheikh Mohamed hosted a dinner banquet in honour of the Japanese Prime Minister and his accompanying delegation.
In attendance were H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Member of the Executive Council; and H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court.
Attending from the Japanese side were Naoki Okada, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Minoru Kihara, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister; Shigeru Kitamura, Secretary-General of the National Security Secretariat; Takaya Imai, Special Adviser and Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister; Hiroshi Suzuki, Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister; Akihiko Nakajima, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the UAE; Takeo Mori, Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs; Katsuhiko Takahashi, Director-General, Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Makoto Osawa, Vice Minister for International Affairs at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Yasunori Nishida, Vice-Minister of Defense for International Affairs; Naoki Fujii, Vice-Minister for Transport, Tourism and International Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and Shigehiro Tanaka, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs