Japanese Ambassador Tsukasa Uemura paid tribute to the longstanding friendship between his country and Saudi Arabia as he hosted a reception to mark the upcoming birthday of Japanese Emperor Akihito, who will turn 85 on Dec. 23.
Guests at the event, at the ambassador’s residence in Riyadh’s diplomatic quarter last Thursday, included senior Saudi officials, members of the diplomatic corps, business representatives and members of the community. Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar represented the government of Saudi Arabia.
“The Japanese and the Saudi royal families have enjoyed long and splendid friendly relations for many decades,” Uemura said. “Crown Prince Naruhito, our next emperor, visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the first time in 1994 with the Crown Princess.”
Since then, the envoy added, the prince has visited Saudi Arabia several times, and King Salman has visited Japan to bolster ties. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also paid an official visit to Japan in September 2016.
The ambassador said that bilateral relations between the countries, are shifting to become a diversified strategic partnership.
“We have successfully introduced a new mechanism, the ‘Japan-Saudi Vision 2030,’ and now we are working closely in various fields of cooperation,” said Uemura. “We are determined to build much more amicable and broader relations with Saudi Arabia as indispensable partners to each other.”
Japan was one of the first countries to announce support for Saudi Vision 2030, and has offered to share its expertise in a number of fields, including energy, potable water, infrastructure, metro and train projects, entertainment, sports and other development projects in the Kingdom.
This year will be the final official celebration of Emperor Akihito’s birthday, as he will abdicate on April 30, 2019, and Crown Prince Naruhito will take the throne.