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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed meets Shinzo Abe to discuss bilateral ties

Japanese PM also spoke at the Japan-UAE Business Forum in Abu Dhabi

The UAE and Japan have agreed to co-operate on a wide range of issues as an official visit by the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to an end.

They include trade, technology, culture, education, defence, health, and the financial sector.

The details were revealed following a meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, on Monday.

The Japanese prime minister spent two days in the UAE, with visits to the Founder’s Memorial and Wahat Al Karama, which commemorates those who have died in military service.

Mr Abe also attended the Japan-UAE Business Forum in Abu Dhabi, where he spoke of his country’s determination to develop relations with the Emirates beyond business.

According to the official news agency Wam: “Both sides committed to deepening and strengthening their strategic partnership towards a future shared between the two countries in a comprehensive manner.”

It included: “Formulating a joint vision and a joint co-operation strategy towards the next occasion of leaders’ meeting, under a framework named 'Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Initiative',” Wam reported.

Mr Abe speaks during a Japan-UAE business forum while on the first leg of his Middle East tour. AFP 
Mr Abe speaks during a Japan-UAE business forum while on the first leg of his Middle East tour. AFP 

Both sides will: “Increase mutual understanding on regional and international issues and build common grounds for promoting a bilateral relationship,” it added.

The agreement noted the increase in trade between the UAE and Japan, especially in areas like renewable energy, advanced robots, artificial intelligence and health care.

It recognised the UAE as a major hub in the region and a gateway to Africa, the Middle East and Africa.

Both countries also shared their determination to work together on protecting intellectual property rights and combating fake products.

There would be particular encouragement for business exchanges among small and medium enterprises of the two countries, with a focus on the UAE’s Free-Zones and the SME Overseas Business Support Platform based in Dubai.

Both countries will share the year 2020, which features the Olympic Games in Tokyo and the Dubai Expo.

“The Dubai-Tokyo 2020 partnership is the first of its kind of co-operation between Expo and the Olympic and Paralympics Games which will create great value for both countries and humanity,” Wam said.

The year also marks the 50th anniversary of Abu Dhabi’s first participation at the Osaka Expo in 1970.

Both countries stressed the importance of cultural exchanges in everything from art and design to music and pop culture.

They affirmed existing areas of collaboration, especially in education and space technology and the 2016 Co-operation Arrangement between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the UAE Space Agency.

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Later this year, Mitsubishi’s launch system will be used to place the KhalifaSat Earth observation satellite into orbit.

The long-standing relationship with the UAE as energy supplier of Japan’s oil and gas was also noted, and the renewal of Japanese concessions for UAE offshore oil fields, for which Mr Abe expressed deep appreciation.

Both sides condemned terrorism and extremism in all forms and affirmed their shared commitment to fighting both as well as co-operating over international organised crime, drugs, money laundering and human trafficking.

Both countries agreed to the importance of increasing co-operation in developing defence equipment and technology in areas of common interest, as well as training and information sharing. They would also work together on advances in medical technology and the treatment of diseases.

The statement also noted the good relationship between the people of Japan and the UAE, with the UAE welcoming a Japanese decision to bring in pre-registration for Emiratis visiting Japan.