Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Tokyo Governor: People are the Backbone of Saudi Vision 2030 | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Tokyo’s new mayor Yuriko Koike, a 64-year-old former TV anchorwoman, speaks fluent English and Arabic — the latter acquired as a student in Cairo — and has also served as environment minister (AFP Photo/Kazuhiro Nogi)

Tokyo-Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike described the Saudi Vision 2030 as ambitious, saying it considers the people the most important wealth in the country, an approach that is highly respected given that the oil wealth was for a long time considered the foundation of development.

Koike told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that this vision answers some difficult questions such as: how do we achieve sustainable development?

Koike, the first woman to occupy this position, said that Saudi-Japanese relations are solid and based on political accord and continuous communication on the level of leaders, not to mention the friendship between the Saudi royal family and the Japanese empire.

Koike also told Asharq Al-Awsat, “the variety of Saudi cities attracted my attention: Dammam has an industrial pattern and Makkah enjoys spirituality.”

She added that she is looking forward to cooperate with Riyadh for the purpose of establishing a bridge between the two capitals just like Cairo and Tokyo.

Tokyo governor talked about her vision to overcome hurdles preventing the development of Japanese-Arab economic relations and insisted that Japanese people should let go of their tendency to reach perfection because the Japanese product might become overqualified hence unaffordable for the second party.

The Governor said that she is “willing to create an economic identity for Tokyo and that she does not reject using new policies”; she also hailed the kingdom’s awareness that oil wealth will be over one day and that finding alternative energy sources is a must.

Koike concluded in her remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat that she feels a spiritual connection with the Arab world and that her role to focus on common points between the Japanese and Arab people will not stop.