Japanese envoy affirms strong Omani-Japanese relations

MUSCAT: The strong bilateral relations between the Sultanate and Japan are based on solid foundations supported by the wisdom of the two countries’ leaderships, affirmed Mitsugu Saito, Japanese Ambassador to the Sultanate. In a statement to a local newspaper on Sunday, he touched on the visit of His Highness Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers, to Japan in 1997 and the visit of His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tareq al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture, in 2008, in addition to the visit made by the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess of Japan in 1994.
He highlighted roots of the historic relations between the Sultanate and Japan, which date back to more than 400 years.
He pointed out that a high-level delegation will visit the Sultanate during the upcoming period to explore investment opportunities and discuss mechanisms to deepen the existing cooperation between the two countries in order to further develop relations and push them towards the future.
He described the economic ties of the two countries as ‘very strong’ as Japan purchases large quantities of the natural resources, such as crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Sultanate.
He added that the Japanese companies purchase about 10 per cent of Oman’s total oil production, equivalent to almost 100,000 barrels per day, and nearly 30 per cent of the Sultanate’s LNG production, about 3.2 billion cubic metres.
He said that alliances led by Japanese companies produce about 60 per cent of the Sultanate’s production of electricity through independent power projects (IPP), as well as producing 20 per cent of the total potable water in the Sultanate through independent water projects.
The Japanese Ambassador to the Sultanate further said that the volume of Japanese imports from the Sultanate in 2017 amounted to about $2 billion, which is not limited to natural resources, such as oil and natural gas, but also includes agricultural and fishery products, such as beans and squid, where 90 per cent of the beans available in Japan’s shops during winter are imported from Oman.
He added that the volume of Japanese exports to the Sultanate in 2017 hit about $2.5 billion, so Japan is the second largest exporter to the Sultanate after the UAE.
He added that in 2015, Japan launched a new investment structure with the GCC states, namely the Gulf-Japan Food Fund (GJFF), which is expected to contribute to the goals of both the Government of Japan and the Sultanate of Oman in cooperation with Japanese investors.
The Japanese Ambassador to the Sultanate added that Duqm Port enjoys great geopolitical importance and high potential because of the attractive incentives for the investors. He also referred to the Omani-Japanese cooperation in education, health, technical, environmental and tourism fields.