"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Joint Press Release On the Occasion of Crown Prince Abdullah's Visit to Japan

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] October 23, 1998
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister and Chief of the National Guard of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, visited Japan from October 21 to October 23 as official guest of the Government of Japan. This was the first visit to Japan by Crown Prince Abdullah and his visit to Japan was a historic one in opening a new chapter for the existing friendly and cooperative relationship between the two countries for the twenty-first century.

His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Japan welcomed him at Tokyo Haneda Airport and together with Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess Masako gave a dinner for him at the Crown Prince's Residence on October 22.

His Royal Highness made a state call on His Majesty the Emperor and attended court luncheon hosted by His Majesty the Emperor on October 23. His Royal Highness was accorded with Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum. His Majesty and His Imperial Highness, in return, were accorded with King Abdul-Aziz Collar and King Abdul-Aziz Cordon, respectively.

2. On October 21, Crown Prince Abdullah and Prime Minister Obuchi held a meeting and discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest and concern ranging from bilateral to global. Also on this occasion, Crown Prince Abdullah and Prime Minister Obuchi signed and issued Joint Statement Concerning Cooperation directed toward the Twenty-First Century between Japan and Saudi Arabia, which was designed to present a new direction to strengthen the bilateral relationship for the new century.

The former Prime Minister Hashimoto and Mr. Kozo Watanabe, President of the Japan-Saudi Arabia Parliamentary League for Friendship and members of the Japan-Arab Parliamentary League for Friendship, also called on His Royal Highness.

3. The two leaders also witnessed on October 21 the signing of the Japan-Saudi Arabia Cooperation Agenda, Joint Announcement on Cooperation in the Field of Youth, Sports and Culture between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Japan-Saudi Cooperation on an Automobile Technical Training Institute. In addition, an announcement was made concerning the exchange of friendly football games between Japan and Saudi Arabia. Both leaders instructed Ministers concerned to actively pursue the issues underlined in these documents and announcements.

4. Both sides shared a deep concern about the stalled peace process in the Middle East. They reconfirmed the need to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace founded on the principles of the Madrid Conference, notably the Land for Peace principle, and on the existing agreements, and relevant U.N. Security Council Resolutions. They called for the faithful implementation of all agreements, and reaffirmed their position against any unilateral action that might prejudice the outcome of the final status negotiations particularly in relation to Jerusalem.

They also called for the resumption of talks in the Syrian-Israeli and the Lebanese-Israeli tracks, and for the implementation of UNSCR 425 regarding Israel's withdrawal from Southern Lebanon.

5. Both sides expressed their grave concern over the Iraqi government's decision to suspend cooperation with the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). They called upon the Iraqi government to comply with the relevant U.N. Security Council Resolutions including UNSCR 1194.

Both sides expressed their sympathy with the Iraqi people, and satisfaction with the UNSCR 986 and 1153 which address humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people, reaffirming their commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Iraq.

6. Both sides welcomed and supported open and moderate policies promoted in Iran under President Khatami's leadership, which led to improved relations with its neighbors and with other countries in the international community.

7. Both sides showed particular concern over the situation in Afghanistan, and stressed the need to achieve peace and stability on the basis of a broad national reconciliation. They also expressed their concern about the increasing tension along the Iranian and Afghanistan border, and called on both sides of the border to exercise utmost restraint and resolve their differences through dialogue and peaceful means. In this respect, both Japan and Saudi Arabia supported the on-going efforts of the United Nations and its Special Envoy in the region.

8. Both sides shared their commitment to cooperate even further in various activities at the United Nations, noting the importance of the role that it plays for peace, stability and prosperity of the world. They also shared their resolve to cooperate for a prompt realization of ongoing U.N. reforms, in particular, of the UN Security Council. Both sides clearly concurred that the reform of the Security Council should not affect the function and role of the Security Council as specified in the U.N. Charter. In this connection, the Saudi side reaffirmed its support for Japan to obtain permanent membership in the Security Council.

9. Both sides pointed to the need to stand resolutely against terrorism in all of its forms and regardless of its origins and sources. They underlined the importance that international, unified actions are crucial to combat terrorism, with an indispensable role for the U.N.

10. The two sides showed keen interest in the on-going efforts that seek to eliminate weapons of mass destruction in all its forms-nuclear, chemical and biological as well as missiles capable of delivering such weapons- in the entire Middle East. They called upon states which have not yet acceded to NPT to do so at the soonest possible time.

11. Crown Prince Abdullah and Prime Minister Obuchi expressed their hope that the new areas of cooperation, such as human resources development; the environment; health, science and technology; culture and sports; and investment and joint venture under the "Comprehensive Partnership toward the Twenty-First Century" as outlined in the Cooperation Agenda will be followed up both by the two governments and the private sectors of the two countries.

12. Both sides shared their resolve to continue cooperation to enhance trade and investment between the two countries, particularly, in view of the importance of investment and its role in strengthening the bilateral relationship through utilizing comparative advantage of each other. Both sides welcomed pursuit of future cooperation for investment for the benefit of both countries in various areas, for example, petroleum, mining, and their associated services. Both sides reconfirmed their intention to work for the conclusion of bilateral agreement on promoting and protecting investments. In this context, both sides welcomed the accomplishment of the existing Dialogue framework between the private sectors of the two countries and expressed their hope for its development.

13. The Japanese side expressed its support for Saudi Arabia's early accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its understanding on according Saudi Arabia appropriate flexibility and transitional periods within the framework of the existing agreements, taking into account of the stage of development of Saudi Arabia.

14. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of stability in international oil market as indispensable to international economy. The Japanese side appreciated the balanced role which Saudi Arabia is playing in this regard and considered Saudi Arabia as a secure and reliable supplier of oil to world market including Japan.

Both sides stressed the importance of further cooperation to enhance petroleum trade and investment relations between the two countries. In light of the prospect of growth of demand for oil in the Asia Pacific region in the twenty-first century, both sides expressed their desire to examine cooperation possibilities in that region.