economic relations between japan and the Arab countries?

am searching for 3 articles talking about the economic relations between Japan and the Arab countries where shall i find some good ones?

May 26-27, 2006, Tokyo, Japan
The Japan-Arab Dialogue Forum was established following Prime Minister Koizumi’s visit to Egypt and Saudi Arabia in May, 2003, where he stressed the importance of strengthening dialogue between Japan and the Arab world as one of the pillars of Japan’s Middle East policy. This Forum is aimed at facilitating informal and free exchanges of views among key figures of Japan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to explore ideas for promoting mutual understanding and to strengthen cooperative relations between Japan and the Arab world for mutual benefit.

The Forum convened the first meeting in Tokyo, Japan, in September 2003, the second in Alexandria, Egypt, in March 2004, the third in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in January 2005, and the fourth back in Tokyo, in May 2006. The Japan-Arab Dialogue Forum made constant progress over the past meetings as the participants deepened their dialogue through active engagement and free discussions, thereby further broadening and enriching mutual understanding.

Political Issues
The participants focused on analyzing recent developments in the Middle East, mainly Iraq, Palestine and Iran, recognizing that the overall situation became increasingly unstable with considerable changes in different parts of the region.

The participants shared the view that, although progress has been made in the political process, the reconstruction of Iraq is yet to be seen, and agreed that Japan and the Arab countries should continue to support Iraq in closer cooperation to help the Iraqi people rebuild their nation while working together to make an accurate assessment of the situation through close exchanges of views.

Middle East Peace and Palestinian Issue:
The participants reconfirmed the importance of supporting the nation-building efforts by the Palestinians and underlined the need for both the Israelis and the Palestinians to make efforts to create an opportunity to start dialogue. They also shared the view that such efforts should include moderation of Hamas’ positions. In addition, they agreed on the need to continue to extend assistance to the Palestinians. They, in this connection, expressed their concern that unilateral actions at this stage are likely to be counterproductive to the pursuit of a just and lasting peace.

Economic Issues
Based on the recognition that economic and social development is essential for the peace and stability in the Middle East, the past meetings suggested that the investment environment be examined country-by-country to promote Japan’s investment to the Arab countries. In pursuant to this suggestion, discussions were made how to improve the investment environment at the Japan-Egypt Joint Economic Committee Meeting held in Tokyo in April 2005, and at the Japan-Saudi Arabia Business Council meetings held in Tokyo in March 2005, and in Riyadh in March 2006.

In order to further strengthen the partnership between Japan and the Arab world, the Forum proposed to pursue the possibility of a Free Trade Agreement between Japan and the Arab countries and a Joint Experts Committee meeting was held in October 2004. As a result of these discussions, an announcement was made to start negotiations on FTA between Japan and GCC in April 2006.

The Forum also proposed the following projects conducive to the economic and social development of the Middle East, and some progress has been achieved in those projects as follows:

– The Egypt-Japan University for Science and Technology
A JICA study team was dispatched in March 2006 for the formation of the project and consulted with the Egyptian side. There is a strong commitment on both sides to bring this project to a satisfactory conclusion.
– The Grand Egyptian Museum
An Exchange of Notes on 34.8 billion yen loan aid was signed in April 2006.
– The Project on Higher Institute for Plastic Fabrication
A JICA technical mission was dispatched to Saudi Arabia in March 2006 to discuss measures to advance the project.
– Small Office in Home Office for women
Four Saudi women were invited to Japan to participate in a JICA training course in March.
Cultural Issues
In the Forum, there was a consensus on the importance of strengthening cultural mutual understanding, overcoming stereotyped views, especially in view of the recent cartoon issue, and enhancing appreciation of the cultures of other countries. The Forum also recognized that it is highly important to promote various exchanges, such as in the field of research and culture. In this context, Japan has made continued efforts to promote cultural dialogue, for instance, by dispatching the Japanese Cultural Dialogue and Exchange Mission to the region three times since September 2003.

The participants took stock of the current status of Japanese studies in the Arab countries and Arab studies in Japan, and reached the consensus that the mutual understanding between Japan and the Arab countries through academic studies is still insufficient. They agreed that regional studies which will further enhance each other’s understanding should be promoted in addition to language studies. Proposals were advanced for enhancing existing efforts at writing, translation, and dissemination of books about Japan in the Arab world and vice versa, and for using a digital portal to promote this enhanced collaboration in culture and sciences. The participants took note of these proposals.

Expanded Session
In the Fourth Japan-Arab Dialogue, the participants directly heard reports on the local situations from the observer participants from Iraq and Palestine, and had a fruitful discussion on analysis of the situations and the future policies.

Future of the Forum
The participants concurred that the Forum should be continued and they decided to report to each respective government accordingly. The Forum will be reviewed from the following perspectives at an appropriate timing after this meeting:

The Forum should be a place of intellectual dialogue where views are freely exchanged from a broader perspective aimed at building a more reliable and stable relationship between Japan and the Arab world.
It will be examined that the Forum is to be held on a yearly basis, hosted by one of the member countries alternately in principle.
Arab countries should be invited in a way to broaden the scope of this dialogue in the future.
In this context, the Egyptian side proposed that, in addition to the meeting of this Forum, it is appropriate to convene a meeting immediately before or after the next Forum, in order to show the outside world a wide base of the exchanges between Japan and the Arab world by inviting various intellectuals from many Arab countries and to build the needed critical mass of intellectuals and media who are committed to improved and strengthened Japan-Arab relations. The participants took note of the proposal. While welcoming this proposal including expansion of participants from Japan and Arab countries, the participants reached a common recognition that further examination should be made on this proposal.


[Participants for the 4th Japan-Arab Dialogue Forum]
1. Japan
Mr. Ryutaro Hashimoto, Former Prime Minister
Mr. Kenji Miyahara, Vice Chairman, Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)
Mr. Yukio Okamoto, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister
Amb. Takaya Suto, Director, Center for the Promotion of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, the Japan Institute of International Affairs, Former Ambassador to Egypt
Dr. Masayuki Yamauchi, Professor, University of Tokyo
2. Egypt
Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director, Library of Alexandria
Dr. Ossama El Baz, Political Adviser to the President
Dr. Hatem El-Karanshawy, Former Senior Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister
Dr. Abdel Moneim Seoudi, Chairman, Egypt-Japan Business Council
Dr. Farouk Ismail Ahmed, President, Ahram Canadian University
Amb. Waheeb El Miniawy, Former Ambassador to Japan
3. Saudi Arabia
Eng. Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al- Tuwaijry, Member of Majlis Ash-Shura
Dr. Naif bin Moneif Al-Mutairi, Member of Majlis Ash-Shura
4. Iraq
Dr. Jabir Habeeb Jabir, Parliament Member, Former Professor of Political Science at the University of Baghdad
5. Palestine
Dr. Khalil A. Shikaki, Director, Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research

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