Prime Minister Kishida’s Speech at the Japan-Qatar Business Reception
Ladies and Gentlemen, assalam alaikum.
I would like to convey my sincere appreciation for your continued contribution to the development of relations between Japan and Qatar. Let me first express my respect for the success of last year’s FIFA World Cup. I believe that the attractiveness of Qatar, together with the excellent organization of the tournament, made a deep impression on the many Japanese people who visited Qatar.
Qatar is Japan’s most trusted partner in terms of energy security, and is an important country in stabilizing the global energy market. Today, Qatar is one of the world’s largest LNG (liquefied natural gas) exporters. The memorable first LNG carrier arrived in Japan in 1997. Since then, Japan and Qatar have built a mutually beneficial relationship through LNG, and many Japanese companies have contributed to the development of Qatar primarily through infrastructure development, such as the Doha Metro and the expansion of Hamad International Airport. I met with His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar today and agreed to elevate the partnership between our two countries to a strategic level for the next 50 years. Based on our strong relationship centered on the energy sector, we intend to further expand cooperation in areas such as economy, defense, security, and academic exchange, and promote cooperation in new advanced technology sectors, such as semiconductors and batteries.
Currently, around 35 Japanese companies are operating in Qatar, and the Japanese Government will actively support the promotion of investment between the two countries. The fact that I am accompanied by an economic mission consisting of Japanese companies, including 14 CEOs, is a sign of their expectation for Qatar. I believe that the new direct flights between Doha and Haneda, which will launched by JAL (Japan Airlines) in March next year, will be of great help in further promoting exchanges of people between the two countries.
I sincerely hope that the Qatari Government and business people will take advantage of the strength of Japan’s public and private sectors towards the realization Qatar’s economic development. I have high hopes that the further acceleration of cooperation between the public and private sectors of the two countries will lead to the further development and prosperity of both countries. Thank you for your attention.