Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono, who is on a Middle East tour, reached Doha Saturday and met with HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and HE the Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.
The details of the meetings were disclosed by Toshihide Ando, deputy press secretary of Japan, at a press conference in Doha.
“Japanese foreign minister Kono proposed joint efforts by both the countries to promote the big events of the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2022 Fifa World Cup, to which Qatar officials have responded favourably. However, they have not discussed the specifics of the programme, which will be considered later,” Ando said.
According to Ando, officials from both sides reviewed bilateral relations at the meeting and ways of enhancing them in all fields, in addition to a number of issues of mutual concern, mainly the situation in the region and the Gulf crisis.
“Other than bilateral relations, three major topics of discussion were joint efforts on the 2020 Olympics and 2022 Fifa World Cup, the Gulf crisis and the North Korean crisis. Leaders from both sides shared their views on these topics,” explained Ando.
As for the North Korean issue, Ando pointed out that the Japanese foreign minister has conveyed to the Qatari officials the threat posed by Pyongyang and its nuclear programme. Japan has also requested for Qatar’s support and co-operation in implementing United Nations resolutions in this context, to which Qatar has responded positively, it was informed.
Regarding bilateral relations between the countries, the deputy press secretary said Qatar is an important partner for Japan. “It is not only economical ties that we share but there are also very strong political and cultural ties between both the countries. Qatar is one of the most credible and trusted allies of Japan and we expect to continue these relations. Qatari officials expressed similar views on relations between both the countries,” he noted.
Focus on dialogue to solve Gulf crisis
Toshihide Ando, deputy press secretary of Japan, said the Gulf crisis was among the topics discussed by Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono with Qatari dignitaries yesterday.
“Japan has always supported the mediation efforts. We support the Kuwaiti efforts and the present US-led mediation talks to solve the crisis through dialogue. We hope that the crisis will get solved soon through dialogue,” Ando said at a media briefing.