Qatar's ambassador to Japan Hassan bin Mohammed Rafi al-Emadi has said that the official visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Japan is of great importance to bilateral relations between the two countries and will make a qualitative leap from the stage of co-operation to the launch of a comprehensive strategic partnership.
In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), the ambassador said that the visit, which comes during a delicate phase of Qatar under the unjust blockade, will provide an opportunity for leaders of both countries to exchange views on bilateral relations, regional situations and issues of common concern.
“HH the Amir's visit to Japan, the first trade partner of Qatar, has very important implications for the two friendly countries because of their common interests and denominators. It comes at a delicate stage that requires the two countries to further coordinate and cooperate to reaffirm friendship and renew resolve to further strengthen relations and promote them to higher levels to achieve the aspirations of the two friendly peoples,” al-Emadi said.
The efforts to strengthen ties with Japan stems from the vision of HH the Amir and the political will of the two countries to transfer relations from the stage of cooperation to comprehensive strategic partnership, he said.
For more than four decades, thanks to the strong political will of the two countries, solid foundations have been established for the State of Qatar and Japan as an effective framework for cooperation and bilateral exchange in all fields, he said, adding that since their establishment, bilateral relations between the two countries were focused on the economic field (trade and energy), but currently they are diversified and include economic, trade, investment, development, cultural, technical, scientific, health, defense and security fields.
Ambassador Al-Emadi stressed the desire and political will of the leaders of the two countries to strengthen relations at all levels, noting the strong personal relations between His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, where the two leaders held a series of bilateral summit meetings.
He also noted the existence of regular bilateral mechanisms that contribute to developing and strengthening relations between the two countries, the most important of which is the Joint Economic Committee, which holds annual ministerial meetings to discuss issues of energy, economic cooperation and cooperation in other fields, as well as a bilateral mechanism for political consultations and security dialogue between the two countries' Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense.
Annual meetings are held alternately in Doha and Tokyo, he said, adding that these meetings provide an opportunity to discuss ways of developing political, security and defense relations and exchange views on international and regional issues of common concern.
The mutual visits at the highest levels contribute to strengthening relations at all levels, therefore, the current visit of HH the Amir offers new opportunities to reaffirm friendship and explore new areas to strengthen economic, commercial and political cooperation, HE underlined.
The ambassador said that a high-level delegation accompanying HH the Amir during his visit includes a number of Their Excellencies Qatari ministers, senior officials and businessmen. This will allow the exchange of views with Japanese counterparts on various topics of mutual concern, he stressed.
A number of agreements and memorandums of cooperation will be signed during the HH's visit, which will certainly benefit the two countries and the two friendly peoples.
During the visit, the Qatari-Japanese Business Forum will be held in the presence of a number of ministers and senior businessmen from both countries to discuss aspects of bilateral cooperation in various fields including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, health and services, as well as ways to facilitate intra-trade and inform Japanese partners of the promising investment opportunities in the State of Qatar in the areas of energy, manufacturing, infrastructure, technology, services, petrochemicals and food industries and others, HE said.
Regarding Qatar's host of the World Cup 2022 and Tokyo's readiness to organise the Summer Olympics in 2020, al-Emadi said that HH the Amir's visit provides important opportunities to discuss ways of exchanging experiences, developing skills and transferring advanced Japanese technology in regulatory, logistics and security fields.
The ambassador said that Japan is an important trading partner for Qatar where Qatar currently provides 12% of Japan's total imports of LNG, and 7.8 of its total oil imports. He pointed out that in 2018 the volume of trade between the two countries exceeded $14.83bn.
Japan has the prominent role in the process of renaissance witnessed by Qatar, where there are many Japanese companies that participate in energy projects, chemical industries, infrastructure, water and others, the ambassador said.
Japanese companies have also contributed to implementing vital projects such as Hamad International Airport, the Doha Metro project, the Es'hail-2 satellite project, water desalination, energy projects and others, he added.
There is an ambition for more Japanese contributions to participate in the planned projects in preparation for hosting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Al Emadi said.
The diplomatic relations between the State of Qatar and Japan were established in 1972 based on strong friendship, mutual cooperation, respect and mutual trust between the two countries' leadership, he said, stressing that Qatar considers its relationship with Japan as one of the most important pillars of its foreign policy.
The bilateral relations have witnessed a remarkable development in recent years, especially after the visit of HH the Amir in 2015 to Japan and the visit of the Japanese Prime Minister in 2013 to Doha, al-Emadi said.
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