On the occasion of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s official visit to the United Arab Emirates, I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the UAE Armed Forces; and members of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates.
The history honors the longstanding friendship relationship between the UAE and Japan. These friendly ties were further strengthened by the attendance of Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, deputy chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, along with Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al-Jaber, minister of state and special envoy to Japan, and Hamad Mubarak Al-Shamsi, secretary-general of the Supreme Petroleum Council, at the enthronement ceremony of Japanese Emperor Naruhito last October.
We wish that with his accession to the chrysanthemum throne and during the “Reiwa” era, Japan will achieve a brighter and more prosperous future.
As part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Initiative (CSPI) signed between the two countries in 2018, the Emirati-Japanese relationship entered a new era of partnership based on a shared vision for the future and a long-term joint cooperation strategy between the institutions of the two countries.
During the half-century successful partnership, the UAE and Japan have reaffirmed their commitment to developing their common vision, further strengthening cooperation in all areas of common interest and pushing forward toward achieving mutual benefit and progress in a systematic and comprehensive manner.
The CSPI represents wide-ranging success stories in bilateral cooperation between our two countries.
Last September, in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the UAE carried out an educational project that uses JAXA's “Int-Ball.”
Hazzaa Al-Mansoori, the first UAE astronaut to have stayed on the International Space Station (ISS), explained the attitude control of a spacecraft by using the Int-Ball on the Kibo module to a number of Emirati students studying in Japan.
I am also very pleased with the successful launch of the KhalifaSat satellite in 2018. The forthcoming launch of the Hope Probe this year demonstrates that effective space cooperation is already a driving force for strengthening bilateral ties within the framework of the CSPI.
Under this far-reaching initiative of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy commander-in-chief of the UAE armed forces, which aims to leverage Japanese education as an ideal model, it has been more than 10 years since the Japanese School in Abu Dhabi started implementing the Japanese-style education for UAE nationals.
As a sign of the success of the program, four Emirati students who have acquired Japanese education and culture are currently studying at a Japanese high school.
They will enroll in a Japanese university to further enhance their individual experience, knowledge and competencies in Japan.
I look forward to the day when they will apply what they have learned in Japan in their future lives and contribute to the development of their country after returning home.
There are more than 100 Emirati students studying in Japan in various disciplines at Japanese universities.
Energy remains a key priority in the relations between the two countries, with the long-term energy partnership between our two countries contributing significantly to energy development and economic diversification in the UAE and Japan.
The UAE is Japan's second largest oil supplier, providing about 29.9 percent of its total oil imports by September 2019.
In 2018, Japan acquired an oil concession in Abu Dhabi for the coming 40 years, showing that Japan is an important strategic energy partner in the UAE.
Although the UAE is a stable and reliable energy supplier to Japan, we look forward to strengthening its long-term partnership by looking for new opportunities that will add value to our resources and to the partnership between the two countries.
Our country will host the Expo 2020 Dubai in October that will run for six months. Amid the countdown to this important event, the UAE is committed to organizing the best exhibition in history because of its strategic location as a hub of tourism and trade, in addition to enjoying world-class infrastructure and political and social stability.
Last August, Japan held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Japan pavilion, which will participate in this global event.
On this occasion, I encourage the Japanese to visit our country through the two national carriers Etihad and Emirates. The UAE has a lot to offer in various fields.
I am sure they will find the best new experiences in the UAE through the exhibition, in addition to other great tourism activities, business and investment opportunities and a close-up of Emirati culture and people.
On a final note, I express my sincere gratitude for the efforts and dedication of all our partner institutions and the Japanese people to give impetus to bilateral relations.
Given the steady success of cooperation within the CSPI framework, I am determined to continue to work hard and determinedly to contribute to the consolidation of bilateral relations in all possible areas.