Emirates News Agency – 50th anniversary of Japan-UAE relations prompts exploration of new frontiers: Tokyo envoy

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By Binsal Abdulkader

ABU DHABI, 14th February, 2022 (WAM) — As Japan and the United Arab Emirates mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the new Japanese envoy to Abu Dhabi is seeking new frontiers in relations.

“This is an important step that allows us to explore new frontiers in bilateral cooperation based on the solid foundations of the past 50 years of relations,” Akio Isomata, Japan’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, told the agency. Emirates Press (WAM) in an exclusive. interview.

Priorities as sender

Isomata, who took up his duties as ambassador at the end of November, specified his priorities. “One of the goals I want to pursue is the official launch of the global strategic partnership initiative [CSPI] between the two countries. Under the aegis of the CSPI, we will enter a new phase to broaden and deepen political, economic and cultural relations.”

Japan and the United Arab Emirates had announced their commitment to developing a joint cooperation strategy and vision, within the framework of the CSPI, in a joint statement issued in Abu Dhabi on April 30, 2018, after a meeting between the Prime Minister of Japan of Shinzo Abe and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, during Abe’s official visit to the United Arab Emirates.

The envoy said, “My second ambition is to diversify economic relations into a variety of new areas of cooperation.”

New areas in economic relations

About these new areas, he cited the recent collaboration in aerospace projects such as the United Arab Emirates’ Hope Probe – launched in Japan by a Japanese rocket – and the lunar exploration project, supported by a Japanese company. Cooperation in health care and food security can be explored further, he added.

The two countries have long-standing cooperation in oil exploration, production and trade, the ambassador said. “More than 30% of crude oil imported from Japan comes from the United Arab Emirates. Japan’s main export products to the UAE are automobiles and machinery in which Japan enjoys a strong competitive advantage.

In recent years, the links have extended to new areas such as infrastructure, renewable energy, outer space, defense industries, agriculture and food, medicine and health, retail, tourism, content and creative industries and sports, he explained.

Japanese companies are involved in power generation, desalination and railway projects, the envoy added.

The UAE hosts approximately 4,300 Japanese expatriates and 350 Japanese companies.

The UAE, an important hub in the MENA region

“I believe that the potentials for the development of our bilateral relations are immeasurably enormous, given the accumulation of our cooperative efforts … and the strategic advantages of the UAE. [such as] openness of the economy to the world and geographical feature as a hub of trade and transport, etc. “Isomata pointed out.

“The UAE’s social stability, quality business environment as well as the concept of tolerance provide good investment opportunities for the private sector.”

The UAE is an important business hub for Japanese companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the diplomat said. “Dubai in particular is an ideal business center with its free zones, quality infrastructure and openness to foreign companies. Recently, many Japanese companies have established their regional headquarters in Dubai, which is an important gateway to the MENA region.

Students, the Japanese language builds bridges

Isomata believes that Japan and the United Arab Emirates have enormous potential for cooperation in the cultural field. “The two countries are also working together in the field of education and human resource development, which I believe is extremely important in shaping the future of the two countries together.”

The Ambassador cherishes his meeting in Tokyo with a group of Japanese high school students, graduates of the Japanese School of Abu Dhabi, who are currently studying in Tokyo.

“I was very inspired, very encouraged too, to see them living in a totally different cultural context and studying with a good mood in Japan, each with the dream of going to higher education in mechanical engineering, political science, etc. , in the future.”

The recent introduction of the Japanese language in three public schools in Dubai and Sharjah is a very important step, Isomata said. Classes had started in November 2021 and December 2021 in the two emirates respectively with native Japanese teachers.

Japanese martial arts such as judo, karate and aikido are also popular in the UAE. “In 2022, we will hold a series of cultural and sporting events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United Arab Emirates. I hope many people will join in the events and feel Japan even closer to ‘them.”

Expo 2020 Dubai

“The success of Expo Dubai in attracting many visitors clearly shows that even a global pandemic cannot deter us from moving forward with wisdom and determination. I would like to congratulate the United Arab Emirates for successfully hosting this Expo,” the envoy commented when asked about the UAE’s hosting of Expo 2020.

The theme of the Japanese pavilion is “Where Ideas Meet” and through an interactive approach, it offers visitors the opportunity to feel and understand a variety of ideas that can be a good foundation for a better future, a- he explained.

Expo Dubai holds special significance for Japan, as it will host Expo 2025 in Osaka, Kansai. “Its theme is ‘Designing the future society for our lives.’ Building on the legacy of Expo Dubai, we intend to provide a venue to discuss happy lifestyles for each individual and the future socio-economic system to support it.”

International cooperation, climate action

The UAE has an important position on the international stage, and it will continue to play this role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2022-2023, the Japanese ambassador believes.

“I would like to pay tribute to the Emirati leaders who are determined to lead the international community in many areas. I hope that Japan will play an even more active role with the United Arab Emirates in promoting peace and stability in the region. “, did he declare.

Japan and the United Arab Emirates have announced plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Japan’s and the UAE’s decarbonization efforts will further develop with cooperation in the fields of solar energy, blue ammonia and hydrogen, which have huge potential, Isomata stressed.

“We certainly welcome the UAE’s hosting of COP28 in 2023. Together with the UAE, Japan will work closely with the international community to address climate change issues.”

WAM/Ibrahim Shukralla

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