Japanese PM Kishida to visit UAE, focusing on the next 50 years

As the Prime Minister of Japan, I am delighted to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), our strategic partner, for the first time since taking office. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and the UAE, reflecting our longstanding ties. Japanese companies have been integral to the development of Abu Dhabi's oil industry since the 1960s, ensuring a stable energy supply that has contributed to Japan's economic growth.

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A Renewed Commitment to Collaboration

Over the years, our collaboration has extended beyond energy and economy, encompassing various sectors such as climate change, education, science and technology, outer space, and defense. In pursuit of further cooperation, our countries signed the Joint Declaration on the Implementation of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Initiative (CSPI) last year, paving the way for concrete discussions and actions.

Promoting Youth Exchanges and Human Resource Development

Education plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of our nations. Japan is committed to supporting youth exchanges between our countries and developing human resources in the UAE. We will continue to facilitate Emirati undergraduate and graduate students' study programs in Japan, promote high school student exchanges, and encourage young Emirati nationals to participate in internship programs offered by Japanese companies. These educational initiatives will strengthen the foundation of our bilateral relations and foster development across various fields, particularly in the economic and business sectors.

Cultural Bonds and Creative Industries

The 50th anniversary celebrations highlighted the keen interest of the UAE's people in Japan. The Japan Pavilion's popularity at the Dubai Expo demonstrated the strong connection between our cultures. Japanese language education will receive continued support to meet the growing demand among UAE's youth, who are increasingly fascinated by Japanese manga, anime, and creative industries. We will expand our collaboration in content creation and the creative sector, including e-sports, to further enhance cultural exchanges.

Unlocking the Potential of Tourism

With the opening of the Japan National Tourism Organization's (JNTO) MENA headquarters in Dubai, we anticipate an increasing number of UAE citizens discovering the allure of Japan. The full visa exemption for UAE citizens has facilitated travel, inviting them to explore Japan's authentic cuisine, experience the beauty of its changing seasons, and witness the marvel of its renowned Shinkansen (bullet trains). This growing tourism connection will strengthen our people-to-people ties and foster mutual understanding.

Exploring the Frontiers of Space Cooperation

Japan has been a steadfast contributor to the UAE's space program, and our collaboration continues to deepen. The successful launches of KhalifaSat, the Mars Exploration Hope Probe, and the recent lunar probe Rashid Rover, in collaboration with Japanese partners, highlight our joint achievements. Japan remains committed to supporting future endeavors in space exploration, propelling us toward even greater success.

Addressing Global Challenges: Climate Change and Innovation

The UAE's role as the host of COP28 in November underscores its commitment to climate action. Japan recognizes the UAE's net-zero greenhouse gas emissions pledge and its proactive efforts to address climate change while ensuring global energy security. In this regard, Japan stands ready to collaborate closely with the UAE for the success of COP28. Additionally, Japan proposes the "Global Green Energy Hub" initiative, leveraging the UAE's renewable energy resources and Japan's decarbonization technologies to create a supply chain hub for next-generation fuels and mineral resources in the Middle East.

Embracing Innovation and Strengthening Security

To accelerate innovation, especially in decarbonization, Japan aims to establish a "Japan-UAE Innovation Partnership." Building upon the existing Japan-UAE Coordination Scheme for Advanced Technology (JU-CAT), this expanded framework for industrial collaboration will foster resilience in the global supply chain of semiconductors and attract greater foreign direct investment. Japan and the UAE, serving together as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, share a commitment to upholding international principles and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region. As both nations prioritize the rule of law and tolerance, closer cooperation in realizing our common vision is paramount.

Charting the Course for a Promising Future

Reflecting on our bilateral relationship's history, I am inspired by the immense potential for further cooperation between Japan and the UAE. As we embark on the next 50 years, I am determined to work closely with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, to turn this potential into reality. During my upcoming visit, I eagerly anticipate discussing strategies to strengthen our bilateral ties with the President and the people of the UAE. Together, we will forge a path toward an even more prosperous and mutually beneficial partnership.

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