Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Founder's Memorial on Sunday, kicking off his visit to the UAE.
Mr Abe was accompanied by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; Khaled Al Ameri, UAE Ambassador to Japan and the Ambassador of Japan to the UAE, Kanji Fujiki.
Dr Yousef Al Obaidli, Director General of the memorial, also accompanied the Japanese PM and his delegation on a tour. Dr Al Obaidli briefed them about the legacy of UAE Founding Father Sheikh Zayed, which is manifested through the artwork Al Thuraya and the Heritage Park, rare recordings of Sheikh Zayed, as well as video footage that narrates his noble values and his inspiring legacy.
Japanese leader's visit to UAE aims to strengthen economic ties
During his visit, Mr Abe watched Al Thuraya, the three-dimensional artwork that characterises Sheikh Zayed, whose engineering forms shine in the evening in a way that simulates the stars of the sky.
He also learned about Sheikh Zayed's love of and his commitment to the preservation of the environment in the Heritage Park, which includes various types of flora and fauna that are part of the rich natural environment in the UAE and the Arabian Peninsula.
The memorial was among the first stops during Mr Abe's visit to the country after arriving at the Presidential Flight earlier, where he and his accompanying delegation were greeted by Dr Al Jaber.
Mr Abe is in the country to hold talks with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and participate in an economic forum focused on diversification and innovation in the UAE. The forum will also seek to strengthen economic relations between the UAE and Japan.
Mr Abe's Middle East trip will look to enhance Tokyo's energy and security ties in the region. His itinerary also includes stops in Jordan, Palestine and Israel.