HH the Amir and the Kuwaiti delegation at the Japanese parliament
Top level talks, honors as Amir meets Emperor Kuwait, Japan voice desire to strengthen bonds

TOKYO, March 21, (KUNA): His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was accorded a formal reception ceremony at the Imperial Palace in the Japanese capital early on Wednesday, marking the start of his scheduled official visit to the Asian nation.

The Amir was received by Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masaki, members of the Imperial dynasty and Prime Minister Toshihiko Noda. Sheikh Sabah shook hands with his eminent hosts before national anthems of Japan and Kuwait were played. Sheikh Sabah then reviewed the Japanese Guard of Honor.

Following the formal ceremony, official talks were held by the visiting Kuwaiti delegation, headed by HH the Amir, and Japanese counterparts, led by the Emperor. The talks dealt with means of boosting historic relations between the two friendly countries and means of enhancing the level of these ties in diverse domains, in addition to issues of common concern, regional and international topics.

The top-level Japanese-Kuwaiti discussions were held in an atmosphere of understanding and friendship, which also distinguished the good relations between the friendly countries and peoples. The talks also reflected the two sides’ desire to bolster bonds of cooperation between the two countries in various sectors for service of common interests.

HH the Amir and the Japanese Emperor exchanged medals at a ceremony, early Wednesday, at the Imperial Palace.  Sheikh Sabah decorated the Emperor with the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Medal, and the Emperor presented the Amir with the Imperial Medal.

Meanwhile, The Amir also decorated the Emperor with Kuwait First Class Shash.

The Amir visited headquarters of the Japanese Parliament, where he was greeted by the Chairman, Takahiro Yokomichi. The two sides held cordial talks depicting depth of the good ties binding the friendly peoples and countries of Kuwait and Japan. The chairman accompanied the Amir, along with members of his delegation, on a tour of sections and departments of the legislative assembly.

The Amir arrived in the Japanese capital on Tuesday. He was received at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) by the Japanese head of protocols in the Foreign Ministry, Kuwait’s Ambassador to Japan, Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi, members of the Arab diplomatic corps in Japan, and staff of the Kuwaiti embassy. He was welcomed with a 21-gun salute.

Meanwhile, the Japan-Kuwait Society Chairman Kuniyasu Takeda said Tuesday he had fruitful talks with Sheikh Sabah. Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) and Kuwait TV after a meeting with the Amir, Takeda also said he thanked His Highness for offering his generous donation of 5 million barrels of crude oil to Japan to relieve the suffering from last March’s massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

The Kuwait-Japan relationship dates back to 1958, when the late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah granted Arabian Oil Company, Ltd. oil and gas concessions in the offshore Neutral Zone (now Divided Zone), a deal which led to discovery of the massive Khafji oil field.

The Japan-Kuwait Society, established in 1965 at the initiative of Arabian Oil with the aim of promoting friendship and cultural exchange between the two countries, now boasts of 20 leading Japanese companies deeply linked to Kuwait as members.

Meanwhile, there was an affirmation that the private sectors in both Kuwait and Japan be widely encouraged to interact more closely in commercial, industrial, and investment sectors, following a meeting between Kuwaiti and Japanese officials, said a Kuwaiti minister.

Kuwait’s Minister of Commerce and trade Anas al-Saleh, part of the Kuwaiti delegation visiting Japan, told KUNA — following a meeting between the Amir of Kuwait and the Japanese minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Yukio Edano — that the two sides saw eye-to-eye on the issue that any impediments that may stand in the continuous contact between private sector companies and businesspeople in both countries be jointly dealt with and removed.

Saleh said Kuwait sought to serve its strategic goals by making it easy for direct foreign investors to invest in Kuwait, urging Japanese companies to avail themselves of multiple opportunities in Kuwait in a multitude of sectors, not excluding the commercial, industrial, and tourism ones.

Through direct foreign investment, he added, Kuwait was hoping that would help in addressing local concerns about unemployment and the lack of entrepreneurial opportunities.

Minister Edano, on his part, underlined in his encounter with HH the Amir and Kuwaiti officials that the meeting focused a great deal on the topics of investment and technical cooperation between the two countries.

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