Japan and Qatar agreed Friday that stability in the Middle East serves as a foundation for international peace and prosperity and pledged to cooperate on addressing the threat of terrorism.
At a summit with Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, at his office in Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated his resolve to contribute to peace in the Middle East through “nonmilitary” aid.
“We have to shut down the extremists. Our determination to contribute to stability in the Middle East increased” following the recent Islamic State group hostage crisis, Abe said. “As a responsible member of the international community, (Japan) will fulfill its responsibility firmly in nonmilitary fields by extending humanitarian aid such as food and medicine.”
Tamim expressed appreciation for Tokyo’s long-term humanitarian aid and support for Japan’s determination to strengthen its efforts, according to a joint statement released after the meeting.
Both leaders condemned “all forms of terrorism in the strongest possible terms,” the statement said.
Qatar is a member of the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State extremist group.
Meanwhile, Abe and Tamim pledged to further enhance bilateral relations in various fields, including economics.
“We place great emphasis on relations with Japan in the economic field. Japan is the No. 1 business partner for Qatar,” Tamim said through an interpreter during the summit, noting that many Japanese firms have played a large role in Qatar’s development.
Around 50 Japanese companies operate in Qatar with about 1,000 Japanese citizens there.
Qatar confirmed its commitment to expanding its supply of oil and liquefied natural gas to Japan “at mutually acceptable terms and conditions in a stable and reliable manner,” the statement said.
Qatar’s exports to Japan in 2013 were valued at about $37.2 billion, led by LNG, oil and petrochemical products.
Japan’s exports to Qatar that year were valued at $1.32 billion, primarily automobiles, electronics and machinery, according to the Japan External Trade Organization.
The two sides signed memorandums on several subjects, including exchanges in the fields of defense and sports, and cooperation on information and communications technology.