Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the press conference yesterday. Shaival Dalal
Doha: Qatar and Japan have agreed to increase the number of Qatari students to study in Japan in a bid to strengthen cultural and educational ties between both countries.
The visiting Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe said yesterday that Qatar has shown interest in the Japanese education system and that there are plans to expand the Japanese School in Doha.
Both sides agreed to cooperate in several fields, including safety and security, education, medical services and agriculture.
Both countries seek to promote exchange of youngsters under short-term stay programme in both countries. Japan will also participate in the Ajyal Film Festival for the Young to be organised by Doha Film Institute this November that will focus on the popular Japanese Anime.
Addressing a press conference, Abe said that Japan ‘must play an active role in this region.’
He said that peace and stability in the Middle East is vital for the livelihood of the Japanese people, given the country’s dependence on the Gulf countries for oil.
“Japan is highly dependent on the Middle East oil and gas energy. This region is indispensable to the lives of the Japanese.”
On the situation in Syria, Abe said the possibility that chemical weapons were used in Syria is ‘extremely high’, which cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.
“The responsibility of the worsening situation of the Syrian people clearly lies with Bashar Al Assad administration, which is paying no heed to the situation. The government of Japan will work closely with the international community to improve the situation and stop violence.”
Qatar and Japan have agreed on a high level defence exchange and they will also hold a joint security dialogue to discuss global and regional security issues.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on policy dialogue between the foreign ministries of the two countries.
The Premier said that the Japanese self-defence forces are contributing to the stability of the region. In the Gulf of Aden, from where approximately 20 percent of the world’s containers pass through, Japanese forces are playing a major role.
Japan aims to cooperate in the fields of natural disaster and risk management through sharing its experiences from the Great East Japan Earthquake with Qatar.
Japan said it has decided to simplify visa application procedures of ordinary passport holders for Japanese visas, and that it is considering waiving visas for Japanese and Qatari diplomatic or official passport holders.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on oil and gas between Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Cooperation (JOGMEC) and Qatar Petroleum (QP).
Among a host of other agreements, a Japanese company will also establish a research institute on water treatment at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).
Japan will also participate in the 24th Doha International Book Fair to be held later in December. The Peninsula