National / Politics

Japan and Jordan agree to boost security cooperation

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and King Abdullah II of Jordan agreed Tuesday in Tokyo to boost diplomatic and security cooperation between their two countries in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

During their meeting, Abe and Abdullah agreed to launch a strategic dialogue involving the foreign ministers of the two countries and consultations between senior diplomats and defense officials.

“We will continue to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with Jordan in wider areas including politics, security, defense and countermeasures against extremism,” Abe said in a joint press announcement after the meeting.

Earlier Tuesday, Abe and Abdullah visited the Ground Self-Defense Force’s exercise area in Narashino, Chiba Prefecture, and observed the training session of a GSDF unit tasked with counterterrorism operations.

The visit, organized by Japan, indicates Tokyo’s interest in stepping up counterterrorism cooperation with Jordan, which has joined the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State militant group.

During their talks, Abe also pledged to provide Jordan with low-interest loans worth up to $300 million to help the country improve its financial condition after accepting 1.3 million refugees from neighboring Syria.

“Japan has continuously demonstrated that it is a very strong, reliable partner, and we appreciate your support in mitigating the impact of the refugees we have had on our country,” Abdullah said.

Abe and the king reaffirmed their collaboration in the Middle East peace process. Jordan is part of the Japan-led “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” development project aimed at promoting peace between Israel and Palestine through economic cooperation.