Qatar-Japan ties have achieved quantum leap, says envoy
October 22 2019 09:26 PM
Qatar's ambassador to Japan Hassan bin Mohamed Rafi al-Emadi
Qatar's ambassador to Japan Hassan bin Mohamed Rafi al-Emadi


Ambassador of Qatar to Japan Hassan bin Mohamed Rafi al-Emadi stressed the strength of Qatar's relations with Japan, especially economic and commercial, where Japan leads Qatar's energy partners.

In an interview with PanOrient News in Tokyo on the occasion of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani's visit to Japan to participate in the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito, the ambassador said that the presence of the Amir is of great importance in terms of timing, content and ties between the two countries, as well as to participate with the Japanese people in celebrating the beginning of the new imperial era "Reiwa".

The ambassador explained that the visit also comes in support of the relations of trust and mutual respect between the leaderships of the two countries, and to strengthen the friendship ties existing between His Highness the Amir and Emperor Naruhito, which spanned decades, referring to a visit by Emperor Naruhito to Qatar in 1994, when he was crown prince.

HE al-Emadi stressed that the Japanese consider the Amir's visit and participation in these historic ceremonies with a high level of interest and appreciation because they are a great symbol of the strong friendship between Qatar and Japan.

Qatar's relations with Japan have made a quantum leap in the past few years thanks to the directives and vision of the Amir, and moved from the stage of co-operation to consolidated foundations of a comprehensive strategic partnership, he said.

The two countries also succeeded in building strong multi-faceted relationship, as they have reached many bilateral agreements in the fields of defence, education, health, sports, tourism, science and technology, trade, investment and others, and there is still a strong desire for further bilateral co-operation in other vital areas, he added.

The ambassador pointed out that the commercial, economic and investment interests between Qatar and Japan have formed a backbone for the strong relations between the two countries, and that Japan has been a major market for Qatari oil and gas for a long time since the 1990s.

Japanese companies were the first customers in the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and Japan is still one of the most important and largest partners in this area, HE the Qatari Ambassador noted.

Regarding Japan's stance on the Gulf crisis, the ambassador said that Japan has taken a neutral stance since the Gulf crisis started, and expressed concern about the development of the situation in the region and the hope that the issue would be resolved through dialogue.

Japan also expressed support for Kuwaiti mediation efforts, and stressed the importance of settling the issue in a peaceful manner, he said.

He also pointed out that Japanese officials continued to stress that Japan's relations with the Gulf countries will remain the same and will not be affected by the crisis, stressing that Qatar highly appreciates and commends this Japanese position, because it is consistent with the Qatari position which calls for dialogue with the blockade countries.

Ambassador al-Emadi said that under the blockade and during the last two years, the Qatari-Japanese relations have witnessed a qualitative leap, as the Amir paid an official visit to Japan last January during which he signed a number of bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding in important areas, and a bilateral mechanism for strategic dialogue was launched at the level of foreign ministers of the two countries. The former Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono has also paid two visits to Doha in the last two years, the last of which was his participation in the 18th edition of Doha Forum held in December 2018, al-Emadi added.

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