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Majalla Live, Saudi Affairs

King Salman Begins 4-Day Japan Visit as Part of Asia Tour

TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 12: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY  MANDATORY CREDIT - SAUDI CROWN - BANDAR ALGALOUD / HANDOUT " - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) is welcomed by Crown Prince of Japan, Naruhito (R) upon his arrival at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan on March 12, 2017.  (Photo by Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Crown / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 12: Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) is welcomed by Crown Prince of Japan, Naruhito (R) upon his arrival at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan on March 12, 2017.  (Photo by Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Crown / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN – MARCH 12: Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) is welcomed by Crown Prince of Japan, Naruhito (R) upon his arrival at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan on March 12, 2017. (Photo by Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Crown / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman arrived in Tokyo Sunday as part of his seven-nation tour of Asia, the first visit to Japan by a Saudi Monarch in nearly five decades. King Salman himself, however, last visited Japan in 2014 as a crown prince.

The king was was greeted by Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito, Saudi Ambassador to Japan Ahmed Younis Al-Barrak and officials of the Saudi Embassy at Haneda airport after flying in from Indonesia where he had a brief stay in Bali island following his official visits to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Jakarta and Brunei Darussalam.

A statement released the Southeast Asian country’s foreign affairs ministry read: “The Japanese government sincerely welcomes the visit of King Salman and hopes that this visit will further strengthen the friendly relations between the two countries.”

Emperor Akihito will host a lunch banquet in honor of King Salman, while Prime Minister Shizno Abe will organize a dinner reception, according to the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo.

Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of crude oil exports for Japan, which relies on the Middle East for energy to power the world’s third largest economy.

Japan hopes to use the visit to  reinforce and widen ties with Saudi Arabia and help the country’s efforts to diversify its economy, including exploring ways to increase Japanese investments in non-energy sectors such as manufacturing, according to officials. The Japanese government is planning to urge Saudi Arabia to include the Tokyo Stock Exchange among the bourses on which Saudi Aramco shares will be listed.

“As for MoUs (memorandum of understanding), some of them are still pending to be completed,” Ohmori said, regarding expected agreements to be signed between the two countries.

Details of the agreements are expected to be announced.

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