Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, welcomes Kuwait Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Mohammad Al-Sabah prior to their meeting at his official residence in Tokyo
Kuwait, Japan eye lift in renewable, atomic energy Talks held on Iran, Iraq, ME peace

TOKYO, June 2, (KUNA): Kuwait and Japan agreed Wednesday to scale up cooperation in the fields of renewable energy and energy conservation, according to a joint statement signed by the two countries.
The agreement was reached during the first Japanese-Kuwaiti Joint Committee, a ministerial-level meeting co-chaired by Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Parliamentary Secretary for Economy, Trade and Industry Chiaki Takahashi.
The two sides also confirmed their shared desire to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) between Japan and the Gulf Cooperation Council members (GCC) at an early date and to exert mutual efforts to that end. The GCC groups Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, with Kuwait currently holding its rotating presidency.
The two sides also renewed commitment to accelerate negotiations on an agreement on the promotion and mutual protection of investments. The talks were launched in April in Tokyo. They also agreed to enhance cooperation in the areas of atomic energy, water and medical tourism.
At the outset of the meeting, Sheikh Dr Mohammad underlined significance of the committee and welcomed the holding of the first meeting ahead of the golden jubilee of Kuwait-Japan diplomatic relations, to fall in 2011. The two countries established diplomatic relations on December 8, 1961, he said.
“The Committee was set up during the visit to Japan by HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in July 2008, which led to further strengthening of bilateral relations,” he said.
On his part, Katsuya also welcomed the first round of talks, expressing hope that the committee will contribute to building a multi-layered partnership between Kuwait and Japan.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah and Japanese prime minister reaffirmed importance of resolving the Iranian nuclear issue, Iraqi situation as well as the Middle East peace process.
Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) after his talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Sheikh Dr Mohammad said the two sides discussed enhanced cooperation between Kuwait and Japan in dealing with issues of Kuwait’s neighbors, pointing out Japan’s significant role in the UN Security Council. Japan is one of 10 non-permanent Council members.
Holding the current rotating presidency of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Kuwaiti top diplomat also sought Japan’s cooperation on behalf of the six-member GCC. The two sides also confirmed their desire to strengthen broader cooperation, especially in politics, he said.

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