Abe eyes diversified Saudi ties
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pledge to fully support Saudi Arabia's efforts to end its dependence on oil illustrates Japan's policy of attaching great importance to maintaining stability in the Middle East to ensure a stable supply of energy resources from the region.
Japan's support for Saudi Arabia was expressed in a meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz on March 13, underscoring the fact that Japan regards Saudi Arabia, a major power in the Middle East, as the key to maintaining stability in the region.
"Saudi-Japan Vision 2030," the document for cooperation released by Abe and the king after the meeting, includes expanded cooperation with Saudi Arabia in a wide range of fields, such as infrastructure investment, Japanese companies advancing into Saudi Arabia and cultural exchanges.
"We would like to more aggressively develop relations with Saudi Arabia, the cornerstone of stability in the Middle East," Abe stressed during the meeting.
Specific projects on which the two countries plan to work together include the following: to consider establishing a joint research group to look into listing Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, demonstration testing of desalination by Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization and a Saudi public corporation and, holding a "Japanese culture week" in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in April.
a huge entourage 大規模な随行団
pin hopes on... 〜に期待を寄せる
end its dependance on oil 石油依存から脱却する
low crude oil prices 原油価格の低迷
look for a less oil dependent growth strategy 石油への依存を減らした成長戦略を模索する
wean the country off its dependence on oil exports 同国の石油輸出に頼った経済を徐々に断ち切る
economic power 経済大国
world powers 世界の列強
Diet unity for special abdication law brought about by 'will of the people'
It is significant that a proposal was finalized after political parties and parliamentary groups overcame their differences in opinion.
On the issue of the Emperor's abdication, the chiefs and deputy chiefs of both chambers of the Diet coordinated the opinions and compiled a proposal put forward from the Diet. It calls for establishing a special law to allow the current Emperor to step down. House of Representatives Speaker Tadamori Oshima presented the proposal to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Article 1 of the Constitution stipulates that the Emperor's position is derived from "the will of the people." The views of the Diet, an institution that represents the people, should be fully respected.
Abe said, "I accept [the Diet proposal] solemnly and will work on formulating legislation immediately." The government intends to submit legislation to create the special law to the Diet sfter the upcoming lengthy holidays. It can be said that a certain course has been set for the abdication issue.
The Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito consistently advocated the creation of a one-off special law to apply only to the current Emperor. They favor such a special law because it would be difficult to set requirements for abdication in a system that applies to future emperors.
The Democratic Party initially called for establishing a permanent abdication system by revising the Imperial House Law to incorporate requirements for abdication, including the will of the Emperor.
The Diet proposal seeks a new supplementary clause in the Imperial House Law stipulation that the special law is integral to the Imperial House Law. It has also called for mentioning in the legislation that the Emperor's message about his intention to abdicate has won broad public understanding.
certain course 一定の道筋
〜2017.3.18 The Yomiuri Shinbun〜