TOKYO, Japan, September 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1．Itinerary
（1）Bahrain (August 24 and 25)
Meeting with H.R.H. Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain; signing ceremony and joint press conference with Prime Minister Khalifa; dinner hosted by Prime Minister Khalifa; talks with members of Japanese and Bahrain business communities; courtesy call by Vice Admiral John W. Miller, Commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet and Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces; meeting with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah; presentation of the Order of Khalifa; luncheon hosted by H.M. King Hamad; and telephone talks with H.R.H. Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain.
（2）Kuwait (August 26)
Welcome ceremony hosted by H.E. Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabaj, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait and talks; meeting with H.H. Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Crown Prince; talks with Speaker of Kuwait National Assembly H.E. Mr.Al-Ghanim; Business Seminar sponsored by the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce & Industry; and meeting, signing ceremony and dinner with H.E. Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber.
（3）Djibouti (August 27)
Visit to the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) operational facility; meeting with H.E. Mr. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti; courtesy calls by Ms. Osman, principal of Fukuzawa Secondary School, and others concerned with Japan and Djibouti.
（4）Qatar (August 28)
Opening remarks at the Japan-Qatar Business Forum; meeting with H.H. Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar; meeting and signing ceremony with H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Interior Minister; luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Abdullah; and press conference.
2．Overview and Results
（1）Objectives and Results of Visits
A. The objectives of Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the Middle East were (I) to further strengthen and expand the “comprehensive partnership towards stability and prosperity” between Japan and the Middle Eastern countries, and (II) to encourage JSDF personnel engaged in anti-piracy activities in a tough environment and strengthen Japan’s relations with Djibouti.
B. Based on the strong bonds with these countries, as demonstrated by the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Japan and the heartfelt support given to Japan in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, Prime Minister Abe confirmed with their leaders plans to build a “comprehensive partnership towards stability and prosperity,” to cooperate in wide-ranging areas of the economic field beyond resources and energy, and to build multilayered relations, including political and security areas as well as cultural and personnel exchanges.
C. Seeds sown by Prime Minister Abe when he visited the Middle East in 2007 have borne their fruits one after another. He confirmed Japan’s policy to continue to contribute to the region in various fields, including education, infrastructure, medicine and agriculture, using its technology and know-how in joint coordinated efforts of public and private sectors.
D. The Middle Eastern leaders expressed their strong hopes that the Japanese economy will become rejuvenated by utilizing the vitality of the fast-growing Middle East and that Japan will play an even more active role in the region not only in the field of economy but political area as well. They highly valued the JSDF, and Prime Minister Abe reconfirmed the need for Japan to further contribute to the region’s peace, stability and prosperity.
E. Following Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the Middle East in May this year and the hosting of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), Japan took a big step toward strengthening its relations with the Middle East and Africa with his latest visit. The visit marked also as a historic visit for building a new relationship between Japan and the Gulf countries.
（2）Comprehensive Partnership towards Stability and Prosperity
A. “Collaboration”: Strengthening of Ties in Politics and Security
From the viewpoint that Japan should play an increasing political role for the stability in the region, Prime Minister Abe agreed with the leaders of the countries to cooperate closely for the region’s stability by strengthening political dialogue, establishing a security dialogue and increasing exchanges of defense personnel.
B. “Coexistence and Co-prosperity”: Expanding and Deepening of Economic Relations
With their rich energy resources, the Middle Eastern countries are moving toward nation-building amid rapid economic growth and they are very interested in Japan’s technology and know-how. The Japanese government supports mutually beneficial collaborative cooperation involving the industrial sectors of the two sides, including not only the energy field but also infrastructure improvements. As was the case on Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the Middle East in May this year, many business leaders from agricultural, medical and other sectors accompanied him to each country. They held talks with the concerned people in the Gulf countries and had opportunities to present fruits produced in Japan to demonstrate their high quality. Government and private-sector participants in the visit felt anew a positive response from this full-fledged economic diplomacy carried out jointly by the public and private sectors.
C. “Tolerance and Harmony”: Strengthening Cooperation in Educational, Cultural and Exchanges of Personnel
Prime Minister Abe was also accompanied by educational experts, under the Japanese government’s plan for inviting 20,000 trainees from the Middle East and dispatching Japanese experts over the coming five years. The leaders of those countries said they highly appreciated Japan’s educational system. Prime Minister Abe agreed with them on cooperating in the fields of education and science, spreading Japanese-style education in the countries, expanding the acceptance of Middle Eastern students in Japan and strengthening human resource development.
3．Overview and Results of Visit to Each Country
After Prime Minister Abe’s talks with H.E. Prime Minister Khalifa and H.M. King Hamad, the two countries issued a Joint Statement on the Strengthening of “Comprehensive Partnership towards Stability and Prosperity” between Japan and the Kingdom of Bahrain. The results in specific fields are as follows: