TOKYO: Japan and Jordan held their third Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue in Tokyo on March 13.
The two ministers agreed to develop their ties further on a wide range of bilateral, regional and East Asian issues, including security, economy, financial aid to Jordan and supporting refugees.
HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Japan’s Foreign Minister, attended the meeting with Ayman Al Safadi, Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Jordan, who is visiting Japan.
The meeting lasted approximately 105 minutes, according to the foreign ministry in Tokyo.
In the talks, Minister Hayashi referred to the steadily growing bilateral relations in various areas based on the strategic partnership and expressed his hope to develop it further, according to the ministry.
In response, Minister Safadi stated that the Japan-Jordan friendly relations have been developing steadily, and he looks forward to further deepening the cooperative relationship.
The two ministers concurred on further strengthening the relationship in various areas, including security, exchanging high-level visits, and economic cooperation.
Minister Safadi gave an overview of Jordan’s economy and the government’s efforts toward its modernization. Hayashi explained Japan’s support in the power and water sectors, among other areas, and the initiatives to assist Jordan’s efforts. The two ministers shared the importance of Jordan’s economic and financial reforms.
Assistance for refugees was also discussed at the meeting, according to the foreign ministry. Minister Hayashi, referring to the fact that Jordan is hosting a large number of refugees as well as the related severe environment, especially due to the recent surge in fuel prices, explained that Japan had provided a total of approximately US$10.44 million from the FY2022 supplementary budget for Jordan through international organizations such as UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) and UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), and stated that Japan would continue to support Jordan’s efforts.
Minister Safadi stated that Jordan highly values and appreciates Japan’s continued support. He emphasized that the international community needs to continue supporting refugees and host countries.
On the security issues, the two ministers welcomed the further enhancement of defense and security cooperation, including the first Noncombatant Evacuation Operation training of the Japan Self-Defense Forces held in Jordan last December, and confirmed to continue the collaboration.
In addition, the two ministers concurred on deepening cooperation in areas such as building secure and reliable 5G networks, improving cybersecurity capabilities, and combatting terrorism, including through the Aqaba Process.
The two ministers welcomed the deepening of academic exchanges, such as programs on studying abroad in the two countries based on cooperation between Japanese and Jordanian universities, and concurred on accelerating preparations in the lead-up to the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2024.
The situation in the Middle East received attention in the talks when Minister Hayashi expressed his deep concerns over “rising political tensions between Israel and Palestine and the current serious security situation and commended Jordan’s calls on relevant parties for easing tensions, including the five-party meeting hosted by Jordan in February.
Minister Hayashi affirmed the important role of the Hashemite Custodianship over the holy sites in Jerusalem and stated that Japan would play its role by carrying out its efforts, such as the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative.
The two ministers concurred on close coordination to build trust between the parties.
In this regard, Minister Safadi briefed on Jordan’s efforts to prevent further deterioration in the Palestinian territories as well as to find political horizons for restarting serious negotiations to achieve just and lasting peace based on the two-state solution and stated that Jordan highly appreciates the efforts Japan has made and will continue to work closely with Japan.
The foreign ministry said the two ministers also exchanged views regarding the situation in the Middle East, such as Iraq and Syria, but didn’t disclose the details.
The statement said the two ministers discussed how to respond to Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine and shared that the international community must unite in urging that unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force are unacceptable anywhere in the world. Minister Hayashi further stated that Japan, the only country to have ever suffered atomic bombings during wartime, cannot accept Russia’s nuclear threats, let alone its use under any circumstances.
Minister Safadi stressed the need to end the war, reiterating Jordan’s position that the international law, the UN charter and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations, including Ukraine, must be respected.
The two ministers also exchanged views regarding the situation in East Asia, including China and North Korea, and according to the foreign ministry, Minister Safadi expressed support for Japan in its efforts to address North Korea, including on the abductions issue.
Minister Hayashi explained a new “National Security Strategy (NSS)” formulated last December, which Minister Safadi welcomed. Furthermore, Minister Hayashi explained the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).
The two ministers agreed on the importance of a free and open international order based on the rule of law and concurred on working together to promote FOIP.
The two ministers concurred to convene the fourth round of the strategic dialogue to strengthen the strategic partnership further. Minister Safadi thanked Minister Hayashi for the in-depth discussions and his warm hospitality.