Five recent stories and features touching on Japan’s relationships in the Middle East:

  • Egypt has seized the Ever Given, the giant containership that blocked the Suez Canal last month, as part of an effort to get more than $900 million in compensation. A spokesman for Japanese owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha declined to comment while talks with the Suez Canal Authority are underway.
  • The ship is a Japanese-owned, Taiwanese-operated, German-managed, Panamanian-flagged and Indian-manned behemoth that now finds itself under Egyptian jurisdiction, writes Kuni Miyake. Arguably, it was a severe sandstorm that caused the grounding. So who can be ruled responsible?
Suez Canal blame game: Who is at fault for the vessel getting stuck? | ABC NEWS (AUSTRALIA)
Suez Canal blame game: Who is at fault for the vessel getting stuck? | ABC NEWS (AUSTRALIA)
  • To the list of successful Japanese exports, add education. At more than 40 Japanese-style schools launched in Egypt since 2018, kids tidy up their classrooms, take turns helping the class for the day and have set times to reflect on how they spend their day. The same is happening at schools in over 20 other countries around the world, with help from the Japanese government.
  • Iran and the U.S. appear to be inching toward the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, though few in Tokyo seem to be optimistic about its prospects for success, writes Miyake, who is among those skeptics. In a commentary, he explains why he is not hopeful, considering how much things have changed in six years.
  • Japanese lunar exploration company ispace will transport a United Arab Emirates rover to the moon in 2022, the firm says, as the UAE pushes for rapid expansion in the space exploration business to diversify its oil-heavy economy. The launch will use a Falcon 9 rocket from Elon Musk’s SpaceX.