Special to Arab News
AMMAN: When Jordan’s King Abdullah II arrives in Tokyo on Oct. 22, it will be his 13th visit to Japan and his 11th as monarch.
Jordanian Ambassador Lina Enab said there is significant untapped potential in bilateral relations on various levels.
“This leveraging of existing synergies should be aided by the elevation of our bilateral relations to the highest strategic level, announced during the recent summit between King Abdullah II and (Japan’s) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2018,” Enab told Arab News. Jordan’s royal family and Japan’s imperial family have long had friendly relations, she said.
Japan’s Ambassador to Jordan Hidenao Yanagi told Arab News that relations between the two countries and ruling families are “very cordial,” describing the relationship as a “strategic partnership.”
Japan and Jordan have maintained “friendly” ties since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1954, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s website.
Yanagi said Japan is “satisfied” with its investment portfolio in Jordan, and expects an investment agreement signed by the two countries to be passed by Japan’s Parliament “around May-June 2020.”
Enab said bilateral relations are based on “shared values and mutual trust,” and Jordan “has been a cornerstone for reinforcing peace and stability in the (Middle East) region.”
This role “is greatly appreciated” by Tokyo, “and that has prompted the support of Japan for Jordan in various key areas and projects covering water, energy, tourism, aid for refugees and border security projects,” she added.
Adnan Abu Odeh, a former political advisor to both King Abdullah II and his late father King Hussein, told Arab News that after a visit to Japan, Jordan’s Prince Hassan said he wished he could “Japanize” the Jordanian people, a reference to the Japanese reputation for efficiency.
Japan’s Foreign Ministry said: “Taking into account the fact that Jordan has been making steady progress toward economic liberalization and aiming to nurture promising and internationally competitive industries in Jordan, Japan has initiated to extend intellectual assistance to Jordan, taking advantage of the know-how accumulated through the history of Japanese industrial governance.”