Riyadh – Riyadh will continue to be the main confidential provider of oil for Japan and one of the major importers of Japanese industrial products, said Japanese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Norihiro Okuda.
“Discussions of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz in his anticipated visit to Japan won’t be restricted to economic files but will also include security, cultural and entertainment aspects for the sake of achieving Saudi Vision 2030. Regional topics will also be tackled and points of view will be exchanged regarding Middle East regional topics including these of Yemen and Syria,” the ambassador told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Okuda mentioned both countries’ pursuit to reinforce bilateral relations in various fields.
Commenting on the last visit of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Japan in September 2016, Okuda described it as a great opportunity for Saudi Arabia and Japan to cement bilateral relations. He added, “Japan hails the diverse initiatives to reform the Saudi economy and community. It also wishes to cooperate with the Kingdom to attain goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 and for this reason the Joint Saudi-Japanese Group for Vision 2030 was established.”
“We seek to reinforce cooperation in the military field as well,” said Okuda.
Saudi Arabia and Japan have jointly expanded economic cooperation since 1975 when the economic-technical cooperation agreement was signed. The ambassador revealed that the total foreign direct Japanese investment in the kingdom in 2010 reached around USD14.5 billion with Japan being the fourth biggest investing country in Saudi Arabia.
The ambassador pointed out that SoftBank announced in October 2016 that it will establish a joint fund with Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) to be named SoftBank Vision Fund with an amount of USD100 billion.