HE the Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani yesterday held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and means of bolstering them in all fields.
They also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern.
The talks were attended by ministers and officials from the two sides.
The two prime ministers later witnessed the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between Qatar Petroleum and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), another MoU between QP and Chiyoda Corporation in training and a third one on dialogue policy between Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Japanese counterpart.
HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser then hosted a luncheon banquet in honour of the Japanese premier and his delegation.
At the end of the talks the two sides issued a joint statement on strengthening the comprehensive partnership between Japan and Qatar.
The two countries also agreed to expand bilateral co-operation on infrastructure development in Qatar through encouraging Japanese companies to participate in projects with regard to the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup including the construction of stadiums, Doha Metro, desalination and waste water treatment projects and others.
The statement said Qatar and Japan “reiterate the importance of the stability of the global energy market and welcome Qatar’s commitment to supplying oil and LNG (liquified natural gas) to Japan in a manner that is beneficial to both countries and that contributes to bringing stability to the markets.”
Abe expressed Japan’s gratitude for the support extended by Qatar after the earthquake of March 2011 including the reconstruction assistance of $100mn in the form of the “Qatar Friendship Fund (QFF)” and the additional supply of huge amount of LNG and LPG.
Both sides welcomed tangible progress in bilateral co-operation in the political and economic fields, as well as in cultural and people-to-people exchanges in the past, especially through the joint project of “Qatar Japan 2012” designed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Qatar.
They expressed their intention to further strengthen the comprehensive partnership towards stability and prosperity through updating the level of co-operation in various fields.
The joint statement welcomed the high level of defence exchange and co-operation between Japan and Qatar including the holding of staff talks, accepting Arabic language trainees from Japan at the language school of Qatari Armed Force, exchange of students between the National Defence Academy of Japan and the Ahmed bin Mohamed Military College of Qatar.
The two sides welcomed the decision to expand dialogues and co-operation between Japan and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) based on the Memorandum on Co-operation and Strategic Dialogue and on the Action Plan, and hold Japan-GCC Strategic Dialogue at Ministerial level and a senior officials meeting.
Qatar and Japan also decided to expand co-operation in the economic fields, agriculture, and medical service.
The two sides reiterated the importance of further promoting bilateral co-operation in the energy field as well as multilateral dialogues between producers and consumers, namely the second LNG Producer-Consumer Conference to be held in September 2013 in Tokyo.
Qatar welcomed Japanese companies’ participation in oil and natural gas development and LNG projects and helium projects in Qatar, and reaffirmed its support for Japanese companies.
The two sides welcomed the signing of the MoU between Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Qatar Petroleum (QP) and the long-standing implementation of training programmes for engineers and exchange of experts of oil industry including refinery by Japan Cooperation Center, petroleum (JCCP) and some other Japanese companies.
They reiterated the importance of the Japan-Qatar Joint Economic Committee to deepen and diversify bilateral economic relations.
The joint statement welcomed the holding of Qatar-Japan Business Forum and appreciated the seminar on infrastructure projects of Qatar in February 2013 and the launch of the discussion on the third seminar on infrastructure projects, as well as the seminar on infrastructure projects and water and wastewater management technology in January 2012 and the water related technology seminar in April 2012.
It also welcomed the establishment of a research institute on water treatment by a Japanese company in the Qatar Science Technology Park.
The statement said the two countries will step up co-operation in culture, education and people-to-people exchanges and increase in number of Qatari students who study in Japan.
The two countries decided to implement a study programme for Qatari young leaders with the cooperation of the Qatar Leadership Development Centre of the Qatar Foundation.
Qatar welcomed the future expansion of the Japan School in Doha in order to encourage exchanges in primary education with the Qatari schools, so that the understanding on the value the Japanese-style education will be promoted in Qatar.
The statement reiterated the importance of co-operation in the field of tourism as a means to facilitate people-to-people exchanges and economic activities, and deepening mutual understanding between the two countries, through such measures as exchange of information, publications and data related to tourism.
Qatar welcomed Japan’s decision to simplify procedures for application of ordinary passport holders for Japanese visas, and the waiver of visas for Japanese and Qatari diplomatic or official/special passport holders seeking entry into each other’s country for diplomatic or official purposes, or for a temporary visit.
The joint statement said Qatar also welcomed Japan’s participation in the 24th Doha International Book Fair scheduled in December 2013.
Earlier in the day, Abe was earlier given a red carpet welcome at the Emiri Diwan.
The Japanese leader is on a two-day official visit to Qatar.
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