The further strengthening of Qatar – Japan bilateral relations, under a ‘Comprehensive Partnership’, could signal the start of enhancing their defence co-operation, according to Japanese ambassador Satoshi Maeda.
“We would like to consider exchanges in the field of defense and security in the future,” the envoy told a recent press briefing at his residence to mark the National Day of Japan.
The celebration, which also marks the 62nd birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, is set to take place today (February 21) at Marsa Malaz Kempinski.
Serving for seven years in Japan’s Ministry of Defence, Maeda underscores the importance of enhancing ties in such field between the two countries, in addition to various areas of cooperation.
“Japan enjoys a comprehensive partnership with Qatar and cooperates in a variety of fields. We would like to promote further cooperation on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries.
“I am convinced that under the Comprehensive Partnership, bilateral cooperation can be further deepened not only in the energy sector but also in other areas such as clean energy, politics, diplomacy, defense, investment, culture and sports,” Maeda said.
He lauded the success of Qatar's mediation diplomacy (all-round diplomacy) and its efforts to build peace and security in the region. He described Qatar’s presence in the international community, particularly the role it played Afghanistan, as “very impressive”, as it helped a lot in the evacuation of around 300 people, several Japanese and mostly Afghanistan nationals who worked with the Japan embassy in Kabul and other Japanese organisations.
The envoy reiterated the significance of their first strategic dialogue last year – based on the comprehensive partnership that was declared in 2013 and reinforced in 2015 – saying that “we are very happy to continue that strategic dialogue in the future.”
According to Maeda, the next meeting could take place in the summer this year in Tokyo depending on the Covid19 situation.
As the international community faces various challenges such as globalisation, the shifting balance of power, rapid development in digital technology, and environmental problems, he expressed confidence that Qatar and Japan could tackle these issues together under this strategic dialogue.
The envoy stressed that they also want to promote cooperation in education, human resource development, and social and environmental development (conservation) with the aim of realising the Qatar National Vision 2030.
About commercial and investment, Maeda said: “We hope that bilateral investment will be promoted in the future. In addition to promoting investment in Qatar from the Japanese side, we hope that Qatari will visit Japan in the future to explore the possibility of investment in Japan, assuming that the new corona-related border measures are relaxed”.
“I think we should also consider that – bringing more popular brands to Qatar like Daiso. It is a good example of a Japanese company which is very successful here in Qatar and I am expecting the same type of business that might be able to come here,”he added.
The envoy said that high-level visits could also take place this year, depending on the Covid19 conditions.
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