"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] TENTH MEETING OF THE SAUDI-JAPANESE JOINT COMMITTEE, Summary of the Record of Discussion

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] May 10, 2010
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. The Tenth Meeting of the Saudi-Japanese Joint Committee was held in Tokyo on May 10, 2010, pursuant to Article 6 of the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that was signed on March 1, 1975. The Saudi side was headed by H.E. Mr. Khalid Bin Mohammad Algosaibi, Minister of Economy and Planning, and the Japanese side was headed by H.E. Mr. Katsuya Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and H.E. Mr. Masayuki Naoshima, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. H.E. Mr. Koichi Takemasa, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Japan, H.E. Mr. Ahmed I. Hakami, Vice Minister of Economy and Planning of Saudi Arabia, and H.E. Dr. Abdulaziz A. Turkistani, Ambassador of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Japan, were present at the meeting.

2. During the opening session, both sides reviewed past achievements since the last meeting of the Joint Committee held in May 2007 in Riyadh and expressed their satisfaction with the progress of economic and technical cooperation between the two countries.

3. Both sides took note of the outcome of the first meeting of the Japan-Arab Economic Forum held in Tokyo in December 2009, which was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and the League of Arab States. Both sides noted that the Japan-Arab Economic Forum is an important and useful channel for strengthening cooperation between Arab countries and Japan in areas including financing for investment, water, solar power systems, industry, trade, environment and tourism. They also discussed cooperating in preparing for the second Japan-Arab Economic Forum, which will be held in Tunisia.

4. Both sides took note of the outcome of the business forum "Cutting Edge Smart Energy Technologies Contributing to a New Energy Future in the Middle East" held in Riyadh in January 2010 hosted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and attended by H.R.H Prince Abdul-Aziz Bin Salman and H.E. Mr. Tadahiro Matsushita, Senior Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. The forum constituted an important venue to discuss the latest technology in energy efficiency/renewable energy and ways to enhance business-to-business interaction between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

5. Both sides also noted the outcome of the eleventh meeting of the Saudi Japanese Business Council held in Riyadh in February 2010 attended by Minister Algosaibi and H.E. Mr. Teruhiko Mashiko, Senior Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. The meeting was a reflection of the continuing interest of both sides to further boost bilateral business relations.

6. Both sides welcomed the second visit to Saudi Arabia by Senior Vice Minister Mashiko in April 2010 to discuss with senior Saudi officials mutual areas of cooperation including water, electricity, peaceful uses of atomic energy and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). On that occasion, the first Water Policy Dialogue and the workshop for small and medium enterprises policy were convened. The visit was yet another important step toward strengthening cooperation between Japan and Saudi Arabia in these fields. Both sides welcomed the idea of convening the Water Policy Dialogue regularly between the two countries.

7. At the meeting, both sides shared the importance to further the two countries' cooperation in the following areas:

- Promoting exchange in education

- Enhancing exchange of visits by women in business, culture and other fields

- Enhancing exchange in the fields of media, culture and tourism

- Human resource development in various areas

- Increasing Japanese investments in Saudi Arabia, Saudi investments in Japan and joint Saudi-Japanese investments in other countries

- Exchange of visits in the area of atomic energy, particularly as it relates to electricity and water

- Expansion of cooperation in the area of SMEs

- Medical treatments in Japan

8. Both sides indicated the importance of improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy as an effective way to respond to future increases in world energy demand. They also welcomed further strengthening of bilateral relations in this field involving both the private and public sectors.

9. Both sides observed that the preparation process for signing the following agreements is in an advanced stage and expressed their desire to expedite the signing of these agreements:

- Agreement for the promotion and protection of investment

- Agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of tax evasion

10. Both sides looked forward to a speedy conclusion of the negotiations on the free trade agreement between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Japan (Japan-GCC FTA).

11. Both sides reviewed the tangible results achieved by the Joint Task Force on Japan-Saudi Industrial Cooperation.

12. The Japanese side stressed the importance of a stable oil market and its appreciation of the Saudi Government's commitment to a stable supply of oil as well as of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah's initiative to hold the Jeddah Energy Meeting in June 2008. The Saudi side expressed its continued commitment to help stabilize the oil market.

13. Both sides noted with satisfaction the strong flow of trade between the two countries, that Japan ranked second among trading partners of Saudi Arabia, that Saudi Arabia is the largest petroleum supplier to Japan providing approximately 29% of Japan's petroleum consumption and that Japan ranked third among countries providing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Saudi Arabia.

14. Both sides noted with satisfaction that consultations during this meeting proved to be highly valuable for the promotion of economic and technical cooperation between the two countries. They also underscored the shared view regarding the importance of following-up on the matters discussed in this meeting.

15. Both sides noted the importance of continuing to hold, periodically and when necessary, meetings of the Joint Committee between the two countries, and shared the view that the next meeting would be held in Riyadh at a mutually convenient date.

16. The Saudi side expressed its sincere appreciation to the Japanese side for the warm hospitality extended to the Saudi delegation during its stay in Tokyo and the excellent arrangements made by the Government of Japan.