The Embassy of the State of Kuwait

Kuwait Embassy


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PROFILE

Kuwait, or officially the State of Kuwait, was referred to by the name "Qurain" (or Grane) in the early seventeenth century. In the dialect of southern Iraq and the neighboring countries, Kout means a house built in the form of a fortress adjacent to water.more...

WELCOME MESSAGE

I am honored and pleased to represent my country in Japan, at a point in time in when relations between our nations are developing and getting stronger, The Embassy will always do its utmost contribute to improve the mutual relation . more...

ABOUT THE EMBASSY

Embassy of the State of Kuwait
4-13-12, Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo
108-0073
TEL: 03-3455-0361
FAX: 03-3456-6290

For consulate inquiry:
Application hours 9:30 am -11:30 pm
Receiving hours 15:00 pm - 16:00 pm
Working our time and holiday will be changed during Islamic holiday.
Closed on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
10 minutes by walk from JR Tamachi Station
9 minutes by walk from Subway Mita Station Exit A3

Working our time of the Embassy:
09:00 am – 16:30 pm
Closed on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
Working our time and holiday will be changed during Islamic holiday.
May 30 will be closed.
During Ramadan 10:30 am to 15:30 pm


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To those who have been affected by the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake which occurred in the northern part of Japan on Friday 11th March 2011, we send our deep sympathies.

EMBASSY NEWS

10/20/2014
Farewell Dinner for the UAE Ambassador Hosted by the Kuwaiti Ambassador and his Spouse

H.E. Mr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Otaibi, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Japan and his spouse Madame Jamilah hosted a farewell dinner in honor of H.E. Mr. Saeed Ali Al-Nowais - Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates and his spouse Mrs. Zahra Al-Nowais upon completion of his mission in Japan.

In the beginning of the dinner, the Ambassador Al-Otaibi expressed his warm-hearted gratitude for the ever-growing brotherly friendship between them in person and their countries as well. Furthermore, the Ambassador Al-Otaibi handed a gift to the Ambassador Al-Nowais as a token of their distinguished relationship nourished here in Tokyo, noting that he wishes this special tie between the two and the two countries will last for good and wished the Ambassador Al-Nowais ever-lasting happiness, success and prosperity.

The guests at the dinner shared the memories and achievements of the Ambassador Al-Nowais during his mission and wished for his further fortune and ever-deepening friendship between them and their countries.

10/20/2014
Dialogue and Human-to-Human Interaction Key to Strengthening Arab-Japan Ties: Ambassador spoke at International Bar Association meeting

In the world that is rapidly changing and ceaselessly exposed to serious challenges, continuous dialogue based on mutual respect and trust should be ever more important for eliminating excessive bias and misperception on certain societies and values and deepening mutual understanding among us.

H.E. Mr. Abdulrahman Humoud Al-Otaibi, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Japan stated in his special remarks on behalf of the participants at the Arab Regional Forum luncheon, a special program held during the Annual Conference of the International Bar Association held in Tokyo on October 19 to 24, 2014.

The Opening Ceremony of the Annual Conference was honored with the honorable attendance by Their Imperial Highnesses the Emperor and Empress of Japan. The Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe delivered a welcome address to participants at the ceremony.

In the remarks, Ambassador Al-Otaibi stressed the importance of holding this kind of gathering in such a timely manner in Tokyo especially when the Middle East is experiencing such serious destruction and crimes against humanity.

Throughout the modern history, Ambassador Al-Otaibi claimed, the Arabs and Japan joined ranks to tackle the issues of mutual concerns, not limited to oil trading and economic development, but such mutual interests also expanded to the matters of regional security and stabilization in the Middle East.

Furthermore, Ambassador Al-Otaibi highlighted the importance of candid and sincere dialogue among the societies to promote mutual understanding, showcasing the relationship between Japan and the Arab states. The success of bolstering amicable relationship between the two sides should owe to the persistent endeavors of the both sides, involving all the concerned sectors such as the government, business, education and culture, seeking for ever higher exaltation of human, material, and value exchanges.

To conclude the remarks, Ambassador Al-Otaibi touched upon special interactions between the State of Kuwait and Japan observed at the times of adversity in each country, namely, the Iraqi invasion to Kuwait in 1990 followed by the liberation in 1991 and the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. In both cases, each country did not show hesitation to deliver quick aids, and the contribution continued in various shapes aftermath, Ambassador stressed.

Ambassador called upon the participants, who are intellectuals and professionals of legal affairs, to pay tribute to strengthen the exchange of knowledge between Japan and the Arab World on the human-to-human basis. Such a call impressed the participants and the floor was filled with applause.

10/9/2014
Visiting Minister H.E. Ms. Al-Sabeeh Signs Memorandums with Japan’s MLIT Minister

TOKYO, Oct 9 (KUNA) - Kuwait and Japan on Thursday signed two bilateral cooperation agreements on transportation and public work projects such as expertise exchange and human resource development.

The memorandums of cooperation (MOC) were signed by visiting Kuwaiti Minister of State for Development and Planning Affairs and Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Hind Al-Sabeeh and Japanese Land, Infrastructure and Transport and Tourism Minister Akihiro Ota in a ceremony here.

Under the agreement between Kuwait's Ministry of Communications and Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and Tourism, the two countries promote their cooperation in the transportation through exchanges of information.

Another agreement was between Kuwait's Ministry of Public Works and the above-mentioned Japanese ministry, which is designed to promote cooperation in the field of public work projects, such as infrastructure development, environmental security and protection, and contracts. The scope of the cooperation includes development of human resources through dispatch of experts and organizing of seminars.

Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) and Kuwait TV after the ceremony, Ota said, "The two MOCs today will greatly help Kuwait, which has long-standing relationship with Japan, push forward its infrastructure development. We are willing to contribute to Kuwait's infrastructure development with our high technology."

Noting that during Japanese Prime Minister Abe's visit to Kuwait in August last year, the two countries signed MOC for the policy dialogue on Kuwait's national development between the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and his ministry and the Kuwaiti Supreme Council for Planning and Development, Ota said Thursday's deal brought the pact into shape. "We had a fruitful meeting today. I also thank the minister for her consideration in facilitating various Japanese companies their contribution to the development of Kuwait."

For her part, Al-Sabeeh said the MOCs on transportation is involved in all kinds of cooperation which the Kuwaiti side requires from Japan, including railway service. Echoing Ota, the Kuwaiti minister said, "Today's MOC is an activation of the agreement which was signed last year with attendance of the two prime ministers, and enables Japan to pass on its know-how to Kuwait. We also agreed to follow the empowerment of this new pact."

Kuwaiti Ambassador in Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi and the Kuwaiti delegation accompanying Al-Sabeeh, including Secretary-General of the Kuwaiti Supreme Council for Planning and Development Hashim Al-Rifai also attended the signing ceremony. (end)
By Miyoko Ishigami (with photos)

10/8/2014
Visiting Minister H.E. Ms. Al-Sabeeh Inspects Japan’s Redeveloped Waterfront

YOKOHAMA, Oct 8 (KUNA) -- Kuwaiti Minister of State for Development and Planning Affairs and Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Hind Al-Sabeeh on Wednesday visited the revamped large-scale waterfront in Tokyo's vicinity, where she inspected modern urban development.

According to Urban Renaissance Agency (UR), which started the project in Yokohama, Japan's second-biggest city after Tokyo, in 1983 at the request of the local governments, the Minato Mirai 21 district covers the 186-hectare land. Minato Mirai 21 literally means "future port of the 21st century."

Facing Yokohama Port, one of Japan's top international trading ports with a 150-year history, Minato Mirai accommodates more than 1,700 companies with 93,000 workers, commercial facilities, hotels, amusement parks, convention facilities, museums and concert halls. The revamped waterfront attracts more than 74 million visitors every year, according to UR.

At the meeting with UR President Ikuo Kaminishi, the minister said, "We hope to enhance relationship with the Japanese side in all aspects. We are expecting a lot of benefits from Japan's expertise."

Later on the day, the minister visited the headquarters of JGC Corporation at Minato Mirai, Yokohama City, and discussed on future coordination between Kuwait and the company.

At their meeting, the minister and Chairman Emeritus Yoshihiro Shigehisa discussed the prospects for future cooperation, especially in energy and infrastructure projects under Kuwait's national development plan for 2015-2020.

The two sides exchanged views on possible cooperation in program management and consultation works for some projects under the development plan.

Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) and Kuwait TV after the meeting, Al-Sabeeh said, "Today's meeting was very fruitful. As JGC is world's leading engineering company, we hope to promote cooperative ties in large-scale projects".

For his part, Shigemitsu said, "The new Kuwait Development Plan will start soon. We actively exchanged ideas about potential cooperation between Kuwait and JGC in the future, including solar generation and environmental projects. We are ready to offer anything that would make contributions to the development of Kuwait".

The delegation that visited Yokohama City included Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi, Secretary-General of the Kuwaiti Supreme Council for Planning and Development Hashim Al-Rifai and other officials. (end)
By Miyoko Ishigami (with photos)

10/7/2014
Visiting Minister H.E. Ms. Al-Sabeeh, Japanese Business Leaders Discuss Development Plan

TOKYO, Oct 7 (KUNA) - Visiting Kuwaiti Minister of State for Development and Planning Affairs and Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Hind Al-Sabeeh exchanged views with Japanese business leaders on cooperation in Kuwait's development plan.

At a seminar in Tokyo organized by the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) under the title of "Upcoming Kuwait Second Mid-Range National Development Plan," Al-Sabeeh highlighted keenness by the Kuwaiti leadership on improving the business environment and encouraging foreign direct investment through an ambitious national development plan for 2015-2020.

"The development plan aims at strengthening the role of investment in the growth and diversification of the economy and stimulating the private sector to play a greater role, especially investments that yield positive inflows to the Kuwaiti economy," the minister said in her speech at the seminar.

The five-year plan copes with the vision of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to transform Kuwait into a financial and commercial hub, Al-Sabeeh said.

The participants in the one-day seminar included representatives from major Japanese enterprises, including Yasushi Kimura, Vice-President of the Japan Business Federation, who is also Chairman of Japan's top refinery JX Holdings Inc.

The seminar was also attended by Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi, Secretary-General of the Kuwaiti Supreme Council for Planning and Development Hashim Al-Rifai. (end)
By Miyoko Ishigami
Photo by Courtesy of Japan Business Federation (Keidanren)

10/6/2014
Visiting Minister H.E. Ms. Al-Sabeeh, Japanese Lawmakers Discuss Cooperation on Development Plan

OKYO, Oct 6 (KUNA) - Kuwaiti Minister of State for Development and Planning Affairs and Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Hind Al-Sabeeh and Japanese members of the Kuwait-Japan Parliamentary Friendship League on Monday shared the view that their countries should strengthen cooperation on Kuwait's new development plan.

At the meeting in Tokyo, Al-Sabeeh sought Japan to send experts for the smooth execution of the Kuwait Development Plan for 2015-2020, which was recently submitted to parliament. "Japan had already sent experts to Kuwait for three weeks when we drew up the development plan. I hope your country will also send us experts in the execution phase of the plan. Furthermore, we expect Japan's assistance for the drafting of the future development plan," the minister said, adding that cooperation between chambers of commerce of the two countries is also essential.

The 2015-2020 Kuwait Development Plan, announced in August, will include the construction of a metro project and a rail project linking the five partners of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) -- Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Among other projects are construction of a new terminal at Kuwait International Airport, a media city and 50,000 housing units, further development of power generation and Al Zour refinery, as well as expansion of the sewage network and a solid waste treatment facility. The Japanese companies are involved in a clean fuels project at the Mina Al Ahmadi refinery and a renewable energy project.

For her part, Chairwoman of the Japanese side of the Japan-Kuwait Parliamentary Friendship League Yuriko Koike underlined Japan's advanced metro network and sophisticated computerized traffic system, in addition to experiences in environmental projects.

Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) and Kuwait TV after the meeting, Al-Sabeeh said the Kuwaiti side is expecting wider cooperation from the Japanese side and receiving experts for the success of the upcoming development plan, in which the private sector are expected to play a bigger role.

Koike said the current visit of the Kuwaiti minister helped the two countries enhance bilateral ties. The meeting was also attended by Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi. (end)
By Miyoko Ishigami (with photos)

6/16/2014
Kuwait-Japan Ties Strong, Prospering: Ambassador

Strong bilateral relations and mutual keenness on furthering cooperation and exchange between Kuwait and Japan are evident at times of trial, such as the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami disaster that rattled Japan, when the Kuwaiti people and government rushed to help in every way they could.

This sentiment was expressed by Kuwaiti Ambassador here Abdulrahman Humoud Al-Otaibi. The ambassador was on a tour of Hokkaido, June 13-15, along with ambassadors of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries upon invitation of Governor of Hokkaido, Harumi Takahashi. The aim of the invitation and tour is to bolster cooperation between the GCC bloc and the northern Japanese Prefecture.

The ambassadors had also just taken part in an economic forum on cooperation between the two sides. During the event, the ambassador stressed Kuwait abounds with lucrative investment opportunities and reviewed aspects of the Kuwaiti economy that are attractive to investors.

In addition to the exchange and cooperation in the oil and related sectors, the two nations also cooperate in the scientific, technological, and health spheres as well, he noted.

The economic event the ambassador took part in had been attended by the Japanese Deputy Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister Midori Masushima, Hokkaido Governor Takahashi, mayors of several Hokkaido regions, and over 100 figures from the business and economy sector.

During the visit, the GCC delegation had visited Hokkaido University Hospital in the capital city, Sapporo, and were introduced to the latest methods and technologies used in cancer treatment at the facility, and feasibility of bringing the technology over to the GCC states. There was also a visit to the Hokkaido Islamic Society to see what kind of support could be extended for the benefit of the Muslim community, within the guidelines set by the local authorities.

The embassy seized the opportunity of this gathering and visits and distributed a publication printed in both English and Japanese showcasing the main historical, urban, and economic landmarks of Kuwait and shedding light on investment opportunities in the country. The publication also shed light on the country's respect of Human rights, women rights, and democratic practices.(end)

6/10/2014
Wife of Kuwaiti Ambassador Extends Aids for NPO in Yokohama

Mrs. Jamilah Al-Otaibi, wife of the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Japan paid a visit to an NPO’s facilities that provide medical care, clothing, food, work and housing to those in need living solitarily in Kotobuki-cho, a small district adjacent to bustling touristic areas in Yokohama City.

Dr. Osamu Yamanaka, Chief Director of NPO Sanagitachi (pupae or chrysalises) and Director of Paula’s Clinic explained Mrs. Jamilah about the profile and the history of the organization that officially inaugurated 15 years ago to assist daily lives of homeless people.

The founder, Mr. Sakurai started periodical night watch with food and clothing to hear needs of the people living on the streets of the town. Dr. Yamanaka joined the activity and started to pro\vide medical care. The mission of the organization is “Never Leave Anyone Alone.”

Dr. Yamanaka brought Mrs. Jamilah to several budget lodging houses to see his patients who are the aged, seriously sick but living alone with minimum public assistance. Mrs. Jamilah cheered the patients up and wished for their recovery.

Upon visiting workshops of the NPO, Mrs. Jamilah brought lunch boxes of Kuwait food, chicken spicy rice with yogurt sauce, to share with users and the staff. They were excited to have unique dish from the Middle East. Mrs. Jamilah also delivered some souvenirs from Kuwait for users for their memory. The users raised several questions to Mrs. Jamilah to know more about her country and appreciated her kind assistance to them.

Mrs. Jamilah extended financial aid to the organization as well. Such of her ardent willingness to assist those in need who are at the fringes of the public welfare’s safety net impressed Dr. Yamanaka and his staff. Mr. Jamilah vowed to continue extending her support for them as much as she could.

Later of the week on 13 Friday, Mrs. Jamilah Al-Otaibi extended additional contribution to the organization. Several boxes full of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and other green vegetables, as well as 40 kilograms of rice and boxes of pasta and biscuits were delivered to the organization. The users and staff welcomed the delivery with joy and expressed their utmost gratitude to the contribution initiated by Mrs. Jamilah.

4/6/2014
Kuwait Helps Japan's Tsunami-hit Railway Full Return

MIYAKO, Japan, April 6 (KUNA) - Japanese Cabinet ministers renewed gratitude to Kuwait for helping a disaster-hit railway in northeastern Japan to restart its full operations on Sunday.

The remarks come as Sanriku Railway made a complete comeback after a three-year hiatus, with introducing new railcars purchased with financial aid from Kuwait.

In a grand ceremony at Miyako Station, about 480 km northeast of Tokyo, Reconstruction Minister Takumi Nemoto said in his speech, "Since its establishment in 1984, Sanriku Railway has served as an important tool for students and elder people here. It has also helped boost tourism. We sincerely appreciate Kuwait for its great assistance." Nemoto also asserted that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet puts a top priority on accelerating reconstruction efforts in the disaster-stricken areas.

Sanriku Railway operates a 107.6-km track along the Pacific coast of Iwate Prefecture, comprising two lines -- the North Rias Line and the South Rias Line, both essential for local people's life. But it was forced to suspend operations after its train cars, rails, bridges and stations were wrecked by a magnitude 9.0-quake and ensuring tsunami on March 11, 2011.

Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Land, Infrastructure and Transport and Tourism Minister Akihiro Ota also expressed gratitude to Kuwait for its fullest support since the 2011 tragedy. "Three years after the devastating disaster, Sanriku Railway finally comes back. The resumption of railway brings local people special and distinct joy from the restoration of other transportation. Financial assistance from Kuwait enabled Sanriku Railway to buy such excellent railcars, and we all Japanese people are so much grateful to Kuwait." Much-awaited full recovery of the both lines was achieved by the restoration of the 10.5 km-section on the North Rias Line, a day after the neighboring South Rias Line's complete comeback.

Commemorating the full-scale operations, Sanriku Railway introduced five new railcars, each costs JPY 160 million (USD 1.6 million), including a retro car and a traditional Japanese house look-alike car. The new carriages were purchased with financial aid from Kuwait. In April last year, Kuwait also helped the company buy three brand-new railcars on the occasion of the partial re-launch of the South Rias Line.

Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi and his wife celebrated railway's full revival with the ministers, officials and local people. At the ceremony, the ambassador expressed gratitude for being able to attend this historical ceremony, which he described "another clear path of reconstruction." Although the sufferings from the loss and destruction still continue, the ambassador showed confidence that the people in the affected areas are all gifted with the passion and capability in exploring ways towards even more brilliant future. "I reaffirm that our people as well as our government will continue their stand and support to our sincere Japanese friends. Please consider us a close friend who are committed to be with you all the time," Al-Otaibi affirmed.

In grateful acknowledgment of Kuwait's assistance, Governor of Iwate Prefecture Takuya Tasso, who doubles as Chairman of Sanriku Railway, gave the ambassador a relic rail and a model train. In his speech, Tasso expressed gratitude to Kuwait's substantial support as well as enormous efforts and cooperation by everyone concerned. "A new Ozashiki (traditional Japanese-style sitting room) train was introduced with Kuwait's assistance.

Following the 2011 catastrophe and upon directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait offered a donation of five million barrels of crude oil to Japan, an equivalent of some USD 500 million. The crude sales proceeds were given to the three hardest-hit prefectures including Iwate.

A message of appreciation for Kuwaiti assistance that says "We greatly appreciate the support from the State of Kuwait" were written in Japanese, English and Arabic on the side of the all eight train cars, while the national emblem of Kuwait is drawn at their head and back. In addition to the purchase of the eight railcars, the money was also used for reconstruction of five damaged station buildings and another facility.

Nearly 320 points on the two railway lines were damaged, including bridges and stations, and about JPY 9.2 billion (USD 90 million) is estimated for the reconstruction.

After the ceremony, the ambassador, his wife and other guests were invited for a 45-minute trip with the newly-introduced "Ozashiki train." Commemorative train tickets are sold at the inauguration of the train. (end)
By Miyoko Ishigami (with photos)

4/5/2014
Japan's Tsunami-hit Railway Resuming Full Services with Kuwait's Aid

KAMAISHI, Japan, April 5 (KUNA) - Disaster-hit railway in northeastern Japan began to resume full services on Saturday with funds provided by Kuwait after a three-year hiatus, as the last remaining two damaged sections were finally restored.

Sanriku Railway operates a 107.6-km track along the Pacific coast of Iwate Prefecture, comprising two lines -- the North Rias Line and the South Rias Line, both essential for local people's life. But it was forced to suspend operations after its train cars, rails, bridges and stations were wrecked by a magnitude 9.0-quake and ensuring tsunami on March 11, 2011.

Saturday marked full recovery of the South Rias Line with the restoration of a 15-km stretch which had been out of service. The neighboring North Rias Line will be back in full operations on Sunday. Commemorating the full-scale return, Sanriku Railway introduced five new railcars, each costs JPY 160 million (USD 1.6 million), including a retro car and a traditional Japanese house look-alike car.

The new carriages were purchased with financial aid from Kuwait. In April last year, Kuwait also helped the company buy three brand-new carriages on the occasion of the partial re-launch of the South Rias Line. Following the 2011 catastrophe, upon directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait donated 5 million barrels of crude oil to Japan, equivalent to some USD 500 million, of which sales proceeds were distributed to the three hardest-hit prefectures including Iwate.

A message of appreciation for Kuwaiti assistance, saying "We greatly appreciate the support from the State of Kuwait." in Japanese, English and Arabic languages are written on the side of the all eight train cars, while the national emblem of Kuwait is drawn at their head and back.

Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi and his wife Jamilah celebrated the resumption of full service on the South Rias Line with officials and local people. Prior to a grand opening ceremony, the ambassador, his wife and other guests were invited for a 90-minute trip with a newly-launched retro car, on which the ambassador put a head mark upon the inauguration.

President Masahiko Mochizuki declared the full resumption of train services on the line. The inaugural train also carried 48 excited passengers who won a lottery to be the first riders. Commemorative train tickets are also sold.

In a ceremony at Kamaishi Station, about 430 km northeast of Tokyo, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and Parliamentary Secretary for Reconstruction Agency Manabu Sakai said, "The resumption of full services of Sanriku Railway makes the local people realize the revival of the affected area, and is expected to push forward the reconstruction process." Sanriku Railway was established in 1984 as a joint public-private venture, playing many roles for residents, including for commute and access to high schools, hospitals and shopping. It has drawn nationwide attention after it became the model of a railway company in popular TV drama series "Amachan" last year. The drama, which lifted the spirits of the people in the disaster-hit areas, helped boost the number of passengers.

In addition to the purchase of the eight railcars, the money was also used for reconstruction of damaged five station buildings and another facility. Nearly 320 points on the two railway lines were damaged; including bridges and stations, and about JPY 9.2 billion (USD 90 million) is estimated for the reconstruction.

Governor of Iwate Prefecture Takuya Tasso, who doubles as Chairman of Sanriku Railway, shared a word of appreciation for Kuwait's substantial support as well as enormous efforts and cooperation by everyone concerned.

"The new retro car was introduced with Kuwait's assistance. Sanriku Railway is an important tool for life of residents and crucial infrastructure for the inter-regional interchange and regional development, such as tourism. It is also considered as a driving force for the revitalization of the ravaged-Sanriku coast," Tasso said in his speech.

"The full resumption of the South Rias Line will give local residents hope and courage, and repay the people from Iwate, Japan and all over the world for their support," the governor stressed.

"The disaster left around 19,000 people dead or missing in the northeastern region, including more than 5,800 Iwate residents. Calling fiscal 2014 "Full-fledged Reconstruction Year," Tasso said the prefectural government will further advance post-disaster reconstruction efforts to create an environment in which all the disaster victims can live without anxiety.

Local residents and railway users celebrated the restoration of full services with joy, gathering at stations with banners and Kuwaiti flags to welcome the trains along the South Rias Line.

"I used to live in a house within just a two minute-walk from a railway station, but giant tsunami waves swallowed my house and now live in temporary house. The restoration of Sanriku Railway lightens me up so much, and I cannot stop crying today. I feel like I'm dreaming now. Please convey our gratitude to the Kuwaiti people. Thank you, Kuwait," a woman in her 70s told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) with tears.

An elderly couple who rode on the memorial train said their daughter has given them winning passenger tickets. "She gave us an unforgettable gift to celebrate our golden wedding anniversary. We have been looking forward to seeing the full restoration of Sanriku Railway, and finally it made a comeback," the couple said.

Speaking to the crowd of reporters after the ceremony, Ambassador Al-Otaibi expressed his pleasure to join celebrations and pledged Kuwait's continued support to Japan's reconstruction effort.

"Kuwait is committed to support our friends. The Kuwaiti people and the government never forget Japan's support to Kuwait since the country's independence. We wish the Japanese people to overcome this crisis and I am sure they are capable to do so. I am so glad to see the reconstruction progress today," said the Kuwaiti diplomat.

For her part, Jamilah told reporters, "I am very happy to celebrate the restoration of the railway with local people. I will never forget this day, and it is also the best day in my life." (end)
By Miyoko Ishigami (with photos)

4/1/2014
H.E. Ambassador Al-Otaibi and Japan Kuwait Society Chairman Discuss Creation of New Sphere of Mutual Cooperation

H.E. Ambassador Abdul-Rahman Humood Al-Otaibi met with Mr. Yasushi Kimura, Chairman of Japan-Kuwait Society as well as Chairman of the Board and Representative Director of JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, at his office in JX Building to exchange opinions over possible ways to create new sphere of mutual cooperation between the Embassy and his Society.

During the meeting, H.E. Ambassador Al-Otaibi appreciated the vigorous and friendly business ties between the Japanese private sector and the State of Kuwait that have been strengthened particularly in the recent years due to the proactive business development initiatives from the Japanese side as well as the endeavor of the Government of the State of Kuwait to remove obstacles to facilitate the desirable business environment in the domestic markets.

Then the Ambassador disclosed his willingness to explore and create new framework of mutual cooperation beyond the business ties seeking for opportunities to introduce the State of Kuwait to the Japanese people in general, with the help of the Japan-Kuwait Society, the friendly association whose members are corporations and organizations enjoying mutually beneficial connections with the State of Kuwait.

Mr. Kimura, expressing his gratitude to the Ambassador’s initiative to hold this kind of discussion, told him that he agreed with his thought that the two sides should come up with new ideas that will contribute to expand friendly ties between the people of Japan and Kuwait.

At the end of the meeting, H.E. the Ambassador proposed Mr. Kimura to hold periodical dialogue between the Embassy and the Japan-Kuwait Society for the sake of exploring new opportunities of mutual cooperation. Mr. Kimura welcomed the Ambassador’s proposal and committed to take in any future opportunities to deepen ties with Kuwait.

Mr. Kimura also assumes the post of President of Petroleum Association of Japan.

3/10/2014
Courtesy Call on H.E. Foreign Minister Kishida by the Kuwait-Japan Parliamentary Friendship League

TOKYO, March 10 (KUNA) -- The visiting Kuwait-Japan Parliamentary Friendship League members led by MP Dr. Khalil Abdullah and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday affirmed their keenness on further expanding bilateral interactions and relations between the two countries.

At the outset of the meeting, while showing satisfaction with the tangible progress of Kuwait-Japan cooperative ties for more than 50 years, Kishida shed light on recent reciprocal visits of the Kuwaiti and Japanese leaders.

His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah paid a visit to Japan 2012 as a state guest, which was followed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trip to Kuwait last year.

"I am delighted to see active exchange of visits not only at a government level but also at a parliamentary level, and your visit is very meaningful as it will further expand Kuwait-Japan ties," said Kishida. "The two countries have agreed to strengthen comprehensive bilateral partnership, and I expect the parliamentary exchanges will continue to help reinforce our relationship." Noting that the Japanese government will hold a memorial service to commemorate the third anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake on Tuesday, which the Kuwaiti lawmakers are invited to attend, the minister conveyed Japan's appreciation for Kuwait for the fullest support in solidarity with Japan after the earthquake-tsunami catastrophe. "Support from Kuwait has been clearly carved into the hearts of the Japanese people," said Kishida.

Following the twin disasters, Kuwait donated 5 million barrels of crude oil to Japan, equivalent to some USD 500 million, to support its reconstruction work. In addition, Kuwait contributed USD 3 million to the heavily-damaged marine science museum called Aquamarine Fukushima and USD 2 million to Japan Red Cross Society for the reconstruction projects such as the procurement of new railway coaches, the inauguration of a children's care center in the affected areas.

Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) and Kuwait TV after the meeting, MP Adnan Abdulsamad said the two sides discussed ways how the two parliaments can contribute to the development of the bilateral cooperative partnership.

In this regard, Kishida affirmed the importance of the early entry into force of the bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement, which was signed in March 2012, adding that Japan's parliament has already endorsed the pact.

The Kuwaiti side acknowledged that Kuwait's offset program has been a major obstacle preventing investment by Japanese companies in Kuwait, according to Abdulsamad. The Japanese government and companies have repeatedly expressed hope for the abolishment of the offset program to ensure a better business environment for Japanese companies in the Gulf country.

At the meeting, which was also attended by Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi, the Kuwaiti side commended historic stances that Japan took since the independence of Kuwait in 1961 and its role in the wake of the 1990-1991 Gulf War. The parliamentary delegation includes MP Faisal Al-Dowaisan and Majed Al-Mutairi. Earlier in the day, the Kuwaiti parliamentarians inspected the Cancer Institute Hospital of Japan and observed a parliamentary session.

The delegation is scheduled to make inspections of transport facilities and a wind power station during their stay. Dr. Abdullah said to KUNA and Kuwait TV, "The Kuwaiti delegation is keen on making the current visit produce practical outcomes that will benefit both countries. Therefore, we are visiting those facilities to get familiar with Japan's expertise and experience, share information and explore ways of mutual cooperation to implement joint projects. As for the cancer institute, we are interested in sending patients to Japan and conduct joint research in the future," head of the Kuwaiti delegation said. (end)
By Miyoko Ishigam

3/10/2014
Courtesy call on H.E. the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan by H.E. Ambassador Al-Otaibi

H.E. Ambassador Abdul-Rahman Humood Al-Otaibi paid a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Bunmei Ibuki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan.

During the meeting, H.E. Ambassador Al-Otaibi expressed his delight at the progress that the Kuwait–Japan bilateral relations has been experiencing on a multitude of levels, among which, the parliamentary level.

H.E. added that the current visit to Japan by the members of the Kuwait-Japan Parliamentary Friendship League at the National Assembly of the State of Kuwait, upon the generous invitation by their counterparts in Japan, marks an important milestone on the course of cooperation between our nations.

H.E. Mr. Ibuki expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the support that the State of Kuwait has offered to Japan in the aftermaths of the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. He commended the role that H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, has been playing in support of the Kuwait-Japan cordial relations, recalling His Highness’s State Visit to Japan in March 2012 and its important positive outcomes. Moreover, H.E. Mr. Ibuki emphasized the importance of maintaining the mutual exchange between parliamentarians of both nations.

2/22/2014
Japan's Tsunami-hit Aquarium Opens Kuwait Memorial Garden

IWAKI, Japan, Feb 22 (KUNA) - Japan's tsunami-stricken marine science museum on Saturday inaugurated Kuwait and Fukushima Friendship Memorial Japanese Garden/Park, which was built with gratitude to Kuwait for its unstinting support as the first step of acceleration of the reconstruction process from the 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster.

An opening ceremony for the memorial garden was held at Aquamarine Fukushima in the northeastern coastal city of Iwaki, with attendance of Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi and his wife Jamilah Al-Otaibi, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) Director General Dr. Naji Al-Mutairi and other Kuwaiti and Japanese dignitaries.

The 5,000 sqm-garden features such spots as a stone monument carved the word "salam (peace)" in Arabic, a pond and mote representing desert oasis and a greenhouse that accommodates an exhibition reproducing desert oasis environment and Kuwaiti flora and fauna.

With Kuwait's financial aid, Aquamarine Fukushima has been working on the projects to upgrade its facilities and improve visitor services, and to contribute to the recovery of the region. The plan includes a mountain village project, an initiative to develop the museum's outdoor nature experience areas.

During his state visit to Japan in March 2012, His Highness the Amir announced the USD 3 million grant for the restoration of the severely-damaged aquarium and the promotion of science and technology, which gave a great encouragement to the people of Fukushima and deepened friendship between the two sides.

In his speech at the opening ceremony, Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato expressed gratitude to His Highness the Amir for the grant for the rehabilitation of Aquamarine Fukushima and Kuwait's support since the disaster hit the prefecture. "Aquamarine Fukushima is recognized as a symbol of recovery of Fukushima Prefecture, and the newly-opened memorial garden is a proof of close Kuwait-Fukushima relationship," said Sato.

He also renewed his determination to address full restoration of his prefecture, which is the home to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, saying, "Let's start from Fukushima. To realize new Fukushima, we appreciate continued support from all of you." A magnitude 9.0-quake and ensuring tsunami on March 11, 2011 left nearly 19, 000 people dead or missing in the region and crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which is located 55 km north of Iwaki. Kuwait also extended the donation of 5 million barrels of crude oil worth about USD 500 million soon after the catastrophe to help post-quake reconstruction in the three hardest-hit prefectures including Fukushima.

For his part, Ambassador Al-Otaibi lauded the remarkable people-to-people relationship between the two countries. "We are pleased to see that the Kuwaiti people, upon the initiative of His Highness the Amir, have been able to contribute to the closest friendship our country enjoys with any nation on earth. As we celebrate the inauguration of this new milestone that will forever remind us of how deeply rooted is our friendship, let us also celebrate our close partnership, which benefits our two nations and, indeed, the entire world in so many ways," Al-Otaibi said.

"The past few years have brought together a great number of organizations and individuals from both nations to discuss the historical legacy and futures of our societies, especially, Aquamarine Fukushima and KISR whose partnership and collaboration goes back decades in time," he highlighted the cooperative ties between two institutes. I commend the commitment and dynamic leadership and forward thinking of their directors that has brought these two organizations heightened respect and admiration from both nations, but we need our continued efforts to nurture and extend that friendship. We need the efforts of organizations such Aquamarine Fukushima and KSR and Kuwait University and others, to keep us moving forward," he added.

Opened in 2000 on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, Aquamarine Fukushima has been a popular attraction, where people of all ages can enjoy learning various mysteries of the sea. Although there were no human casualties in Aquamarine Fukushima, tsunami waves hit the main building with full force, killing 90 percent of marine animals in the aquarium. Aquamarine Fukushima was closed after the disaster but resumed business within four months.

Dr. Al-Mutairi said KISR and various Japanese institutes have expanded scientific cooperation since the organization was established in 1967 by Japan's Arabian Oil Company. Such a deep-rooted bilateral relationship is behind Kuwait's decision to have offered support to Aquamarine Fukushima, Dr. Al-Mutairi said.

Aquamarine Fukushima Executive Director Yoshitaka Abe said, who worked at KISR as a researcher in 1968-1969, expressed gratitude to His Highness the Amir for generous donation and the ambassador for working as a bridge between Kuwait and his aquarium as well as Fukushima Prefecture. (end)
By Miyoko Ishigami (with photos)

2/5/2014
Mr. Hamad Al-Mulla, Charge d’Affaires attended the Japan-Kuwait Parliamentary Friendship League and Study Session 2014

The General Assembly of the Japan-Kuwait Parliamentary Friendship League and Study Session was held at the House of Representatives Members’ office building on February 5, 2014. Mr. Hamad Al-Mulla, Charge d’Affaires ad interim at the Embassy of the State of Kuwait has participated in the League and the Study Session with about 20 members of the Parliament and the officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the House of Representatives.

H. E. Mr. Takao Fujii, Deputy Chairperson of the League introduced Ms. Yuriko Koike as a new Chairperson of the League 2014 and delivered an opening address, which mentioned the upcoming official visit to Japan by Kuwaiti members of the League in this March. Following the message, Mr. Hamad Al-Mulla delivered a speech and expressed appreciation for the invitation extended from Japan and confirmed strengthening bilateral cooperation and partnership between the two countries.

At the Study Session, Mr. Hiroshi Oka, Deputy Director-General, Middle Eastern African Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered a lecture in regard to the current situation in Kuwait. The lecture was crucial in informing the most updated information especially for the Japanese participants, who would be receiving the Parliamentary members from Kuwait next month.

This General Assembly brought a wonderful opportunity to re-confirm the members of the League and accumulated the knowledge of the State of Kuwait in order to prepare the visit of the upcoming delegation of the League, as well as continue to have active and friendly interaction between both countries’ Parliamentary Friendship Leagues.

11/28/2013
Ambassador of the State of Kuwait and His Spouse Hosted Charity Gathering at the Embassy

The Embassy of the State of Kuwait in Japan has organized a charity event to support Japanese charities that provide help to orphans and tsunami-affected people as well as the international societies in need.

During the event, which was attended by a number of Japanese civil society figures, a welcome speech and a lecture was delivered by H.E. Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi, the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Japan on Kuwait's major historical, cultural, social and traditional characteristics.

The wife of the Ambassador, Mrs. Jamila Al-Otaibi, then briefed the audience on the purpose of this gathering, naming several projects as recipients of the donations, and expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the participants and deepest love to the Japanese people.

At the event, H.E. Mr. Al-Otaibi reassured Kuwait's humanitarian role and major contributions to different world countries with a view to ensuring a just and prosperous world based on respect of human rights and dignity.

During the event, Madame Jamilah Al-Otaibi expressed Kuwaiti women's effective role and participation in social, political, educational and cultural activities to the participants.

She highly commended the moral and human values of both friendly Kuwaiti and Japanese people, pointing to the efforts of the Japanese civil societies in particular to help the needy, orphans, the handicapped and the families who were affected by the March 2011 tsunami.

The Ambassador Mr. Al-Otaibi and Madame Jamilah reiterated their continuous commitment to this kind of charity events and renewed their determination to continue contribution to the societies and people in need.

11/21/2013
Ambassador of the State of Kuwait Hosted the Reception in Honor of Arab African Friendly Ties

On the occasion of the State of Kuwait’s initiative to host the Third Africa Arab Summit in Kuwait City, on November 19-20 2013, H.E. Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Japan organized the reception at the Embassy of the State of Kuwait receiving the honorable participants representing 26 African and 15 Arab countries, as well as representatives of the Japanese governmental institutions, i.e., Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in charge of Arab and African regions. The gathering was also attended by journalists from prominent Japanese mass media, such as NHK.

At the onset of the reception, H.E. Mr. Al-Otaibi appreciated the participants to the gathering, and went on to emphasize the importance and necessity to encourage the Arab-African joint work for the benefit of both regions and their peoples, as both regions enjoy common characteristics including the geographical overlap, the rich heritage and the huge population amounting to 1.2 billion, intermingling with each other.

These traits make it imperative on both sides to think and communicate in a single language within the framework of their mutual interests, Ambassador Al-Otaibi highlighted and continued that hosting the Summit also reflects the principles of the State of Kuwait’s foreign policy which is based on the civilized dialogue and cooperation with all nations in order to achieve the progress, prosperity and the decent living of all mankind in peace.

The floor was then opened to H.E. Mr. Stuart Harold Comerbach, Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps in Tokyo. H.E. Mr. Comerbach launched his speech with appreciation to the State of Kuwait that hosted the latest Africa Arab Summit with great success and lauded the fresh commitment of the State of Kuwait to its dear partners in Africa and Arab regions, announced at the opening speech of the Summit by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, pledging 2 Billion USD to African countries, in a way of translating the theme of the summit “Partners in Development and Investment” into deeds.

Ambassador Comerbach stressed that the summit should be a turning point and course of the relations between Africa and Arab countries and commended that this gathering is the great opportunity to exchange the points of views among the Ambassadors to draw out means and ways to mazimize the result of the summit.

Then the floor welcomed H.E. Mr. Waleed Siam, Ambassador of Palestine and Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps in Tokyo. H.E. Mr. Siam appreciated the initiatives of the State of Kuwait during the Summit and congratulated Kuwait for its great success. On behalf of the Arab diplomatic corps in Tokyo, Ambassador Siam appreciated this gathering as a unique opportunity and expressed his keenness to enhance mutual relations among the Arab and African countries.

Then the floor was opened to Mr. Hiroshi Oka, Deputy Director General of the Middle East and African Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Representing the Government of Japan, Mr. Oka expressed his gratitude and congratulations to the State of Kuwait for successful hosting of the Third Africa Arab Summit in Kuwait City, and noted that Japan continues to be the strong partner and friend of the countries of the regions.

In return to the precious remarks made by the three speakers representing African, Arab countries and Japan respectively, lauding the latest achievement made by the State of Kuwait observing the Summit, Ambassador Al-Otaibi gave each of them the memorial gift from the State of Kuwait.

H.E. Mr. Abdul Rahman Humood Al-Otaibi, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait (middle), H.E. Mr. Stuart Harold Comerbach, Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps (left) and H.E. Mr. Waleed Siam, Ambassador of Palestine and Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps (right)

Then Mr. Mohammad Alothman, Third Secretary of the Embassy of the State of Kuwait made a briefing on the result of the summit. According to him around 71 nations participated in this Summit that is considered to be the first to focus on economic issues solely and far from discussing political issues. The Summit also adopted the Kuwait Declaration voicing the collective desire to promote cooperation in the political, economic and socio-cultural fields.

As a host of the reception, H.E. Mr. Al-Otaibi looked back the gathering and commented that today’s meeting might be the first to gather Ambassadors of the Arab and African nations in Tokyo. This should be a unique opportunity to strengthen cooperation among the Arab and African counties and to further encourage the exchange of viewpoints in order to achieve our common interests especially being in Japan, a friendly country to all, generous in its unlimited cooperation with both African and Arab nations.

11/18/2013
Governor of Kagawa Prefecture Keizo Hamada hails friendship with Kuwait

Governor of Japan's Kagawa Prefecture Keizo Hamada has expressed his gratitude to His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the Kuwaiti people for their unstinted support in the wake of a quake-tsunami disaster in 2011, while praising the historical ties and friendship between the people of the two countries.

Hamada has made remarks during the visit to the southeastern prefecture by H.E. Abdulrahman Humood Al-Otaibi Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Japan, the Kuwaiti Embassy said Monday in a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

Following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 that left nearly 20,000 people dead or missing in country's northeast, upon directives of His Highness the Amir, Kuwait offered the donation of 5 million barrels of crude oil to Japan, equivalent to some USD 550 million, which was the largest contribution by any nations.

For his part, Al-Otaibi said the Kuwait-Japan relationship is a model for relations built on the basis of friendship and mutual cooperation and expressed hope that the strong ties between the two friendly peoples will be elevated to a new level.

During his three-day visit to Kagawa, the ambassador and his wife Jamila Al-Otaibi inspected historical monuments and educational and cultural sites, and met elementary school students. (end) mk.aa KUNA 181123 Nov 13NNNN

11/09/2013
Governor of Japan’s Tsunami-Hit Area Shows Gratitude to Kuwait

TOKYO, Nov 12 (KUNA) -- Governor of Japan's Iwate Prefecture Takuya Tasso has expressed his gratitude to His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the Kuwaiti people for their unstinted support following a quake-tsunami disaster in 2011 to alleviate pain of the people in the affected areas, especially Iwate.

Tasso has made remarks during his visit to Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi, the Kuwaiti Embassy said Tuesday in a statement to KUNA.

With Kuwait's assistance, Sanriku Railway Co. in the northeastern prefecture of Iwate partially resumed its operations for earlier this year after a two-year hiatus.

Tasso said the official opening of Sanriku Railway is scheduled in April next year and extended an invitation to Al-Otaibi to participate in the ceremony.

The line, which runs along Iwate's Pacific coast, had suspended after its train cars, rails, bridges and stations were wrecked by the magnitude 9.0-quake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011.

Following the catastrophe, upon directives of His Highness the Amir, Kuwait offered the donation of 5 million barrels of crude oil to Japan, equivalent to some USD 550 million, of which value was distributed to the three hardest-hit prefectures including Iwate.

The governor told the ambassador that part of JPY 8 billion (USD 90 million), his prefecture's allocated share of the Kuwaiti donation, has been used for the purchase of new railcars to restore Sanriku Railway based in the coastal city of Ofunato, which is a vital line for the region.

For his part, Al-Otaibi expressed hope that the strong ties between the friendly people of Kuwait and Japan will be elevated to a new level. (end) mk.lb KUNA 121059 Nov 13NNNN

10/10/2013
The State of Kuwait Signs the Minamata Convention: Ambassador Al-Otaibi Determined to Contribute to Pursuit of Elimination of Toxic Mercury

The Diplomatic Conference for the Minamata Convention on Mercury, organized by the United Nations Environment Program was held in Kumamoto City, in the southwestern Kyushu region of Japan from October 9 to 11.

The conference was highlighted by adoption of the Minamata Convention on Mercury on October 10. H.E. Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi was bestowed the full power of the State of Kuwait by H.H. Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait and signed the Convention and the Final Act representing the State of Kuwait.

The convention is set not allow the participant countries the manufacture, import or export of mercury-added products after the phase-out date of 2020. It also urges the participant countries to make efforts to decrease the discharge of mercury into the air, water and land and to pursue measures of proper storage and disposal of mercury.

On the day, total 86 countries and the European Union signed the Convention. H.E. Ambassador Al-Otaibi commented that he is so proud of the fact that the State of Kuwait joined ranks of the original signatories of this historically significant convention. The ambassador referred to the fact that the convention was named after a city in Kumamoto Prefecture where thousands of people have suffered from the diseases caused by the emission of wastewater containing poisonous substances such as mercury by a chemical plant in in the region.

H.E. Mr. Al-Otaibi further commented that the State of Kuwait is determined to pursue all the means to prevent environmental pollution that causes damages to human and the nature as well not only for the sake of people living in and around Kuwait but also for all the people sharing the environment of the globe.

Around 1,000 delegates from about 140 nations were present at the diplomatic conference.

10/03/2013
Kuwaiti-Japanese Businessmen’s Committee Plays Vital Role: H.E. Ambassador Al-Otaibi

Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi on Thursday hailed the Kuwaiti-Japanese Businessmen's Committee's vital role in strengthening the historic bilateral ties between Kuwait and Japan.

"Since its establishment in 1995, the regular meetings of the committee have proven their importance among our countries' businessmen, and have also had positive effects in the fields of economy, education, culture and society, " Al-Otaibi made remarks on the occasion of the 18th meeting of the just-concluded Kuwaiti-Japanese Businessmen's Committee in Tokyo. He underlined the historic state visit to Japan by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in March 2012, which had "various fruitful results, including the reconfirmation of the importance of the committee." The one-day business talks on Wednesday brought together some 90 representatives from various sectors of the two countries, including 70 from the Japanese side, in which they explored a potential bilateral partnership with a particular focus on the health sector as a new area of cooperation.

The annual forum came after the visit to Kuwait by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in August. "The prime minister was accompanied by a delegation of representatives from the economic and commercial circles. This reflects the importance that he places on these sectors in strengthening the relations between our countries," Al-Otaibi said.

"His visit also resulted in setting a clear vision for our bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy and development in parallel with Kuwait's ambitious development plan which we hope that the private sector in Japan would play a key role in implementing." At Wednesday's forum, Kuwaiti Co-Chairman of the committee Khaled Al-Sager highlighted that many projects under the Kuwaiti Development Plan will be coordinated with the private sector through build-operate-transfer (BOT) or public-private partnership (PPP).

"Such projects need strategic foreign partners with advanced technology and technical know-how as well as international marketing networks. We believe that Japanese partners can participate effectively in implementing these projects," said Al-Sager, who also serves as Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Deputy Chairman.

The Kuwaiti delegation included Supreme Council for Planning and Development Secretary General Dr. Adel Al-Wugayan, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research Director General Dr. Naji Al-Mutairi and representatives from other government agencies and private sectors. In a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Dr. Al-Wugayan revealed that his council is currently in a process to work on the 2nd Mid-range Plan, and aims to get approval from parliament next February, adding that the next Mid-range Plan will be of much interest to Japanese companies. The Kuwait Development Plan is designed to transform the country into a regional trade and finance center through sustaining economic development, economic diversification, and GDP growth.

The meeting was organized by the Japanese Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME), the organization which has been promoting Japan's investment and transfer of technology to the Middle East. Established in 1973 under the sponsorship of the Japanese government, JCCME has long played a bridging role between Japan and the countries in the Middle East and the North Africa region on the private-sector level by providing cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, economy and technology. It also has a Japan Desk in Kuwait, which plays a bridging role between private companies of Kuwait and Japan to help them establish joint ventures. The ambassador hosted a welcome reception for the participants on Tuesday evening. (end) mk.gta KUNA 031126 Oct 13NNNN

10/02/2013
Kuwaiti-Japanese Businessmen’s Committee Explores Future Cooperation

Kuwaiti and Japanese businessmen on Wednesday tapped cooperation opportunities, while the Kuwaiti side pledged serious outreach towards the abolishment of Kuwait's Offset Program and the conclusion of free trade agreement (FTA) between Japan and the Gulf States.

The 18th meeting of the Kuwaiti-Japanese Businessmen's Committee in Tokyo features three sessions; Economic policy, Business opportunity in Kuwait with a particular focus on infrastructure and medical services, and Promotion of investment and collaboration.

In his opening address, Kuwaiti Co-Chairman of the committee Khaled Al-Sager highlighted that many projects under the Kuwaiti Development Plan will be coordinated with the private sector through build-operate-transfer (BOT) or public-private partnership (PPP). "Such projects need strategic foreign partners with advanced technology and technical know-how as well as international marketing networks. We believe that Japanese partners can participate effectively in implementing these projects," head of the Kuwaiti side said.

Trade volume between Kuwait and Japan reached a record high of USD 17.2 billion in 2012, more than tripled in the last decade, said Al-Sager, who also serves as Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Deputy Chairman.

On behalf of Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi, Vice Minister Norihiko Ishiguro read a congratulatory message, in which Motegi voiced expectation that the Japanese companies will be able to contribute to Kuwait's national development through the participation in infrastructure projects and medical service.

At the one-day meeting, Supreme Council for Planning and Development Secretary General Dr. Adel Al-Wugayan provided an overview of the 4th annual plan of the current National Development Plan running through next March, noting that the government is spending over KD 21 billion in 2013/2014. "We are currently in a process to work on the 2nd Mid-range Plan, and aim to get approval from parliament next February," Dr. Al-Wugayan revealed in a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), adding that the next Mid-range Plan will be of much interest to Japanese companies.

The Kuwait Development Plan is designed to transform the country into a regional trade and finance center through sustaining economic development, economic diversification, and GDP growth.

Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) Director General Dr. Naji Al-Mutairi laid out future vision and recent update of energy conservation and renewable energy projects in Kuwait, including the ongoing Shagaya Renewable Energy Power Park. According to Dr. Al-Mutairi, cost of power generation in his country has been steadily increasing and hit KD 2.4 billion (USD 8.4 billion) in 2011.

There was also a presentation by the Ministry of Health on situation and treatment of cancer in Kuwait, which expressed anticipation of Japan's contribution to this field. On the other hand, the government-affiliated Medical Excellence JAPAN said it is keen on sharing Japan's experience in the health sector, including cancer treatment, and on facilitating medical exchanges and cooperation with the Kuwaiti side.

State-run Kuwait Petroleum International and Japanese major refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co. briefed the participants on latest developments of a joint refinery and petrochemical project between Kuwait, Japan, and Vietnam. Other topics discussed in the gathering were bilateral cooperation in agribusiness and overview of economy in both countries.

During the meetings, Japanese Co-Chairman of the committee Saito Hiroshi sought support from the Kuwaiti participants to press the Kuwaiti government for the abolishment of the Offset Program and the early conclusion of Japan-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) FTA. "The Offset Program has become a major obstacle preventing investment by Japanese companies in Kuwait," Saito said at the meeting. "Without this program, I expect a much larger flow of Japanese investments to Kuwait, which should create many professional jobs and contribute to the development of a diversified Kuwaiti economy." Saito, who doubles as Honorary Advisor of Mizuho Financial Group, also expressed hope that the Kuwaiti government will reopen and advance stalled FTA talks, in its term as chair of the GCC next year.

The annual economic meeting came after the visit by Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe to Kuwait in August, in which he affirmed keenness on boosting economic relations between Japan and Kuwait through mutual exchanges between the public and private sectors. In a statement to KUNA, Kuwaiti Ambassador Al-Otaibi described Wednesday's gathering as fruitful discussions with a satisfactory outcome.

"The meeting today was very significant to really implement recommendation that has been taken during the prime minister's visit. The (two) sides agreed to expand their cooperation in various fields, particularly in the health sector, which is (a) new area of bilateral collaboration. It is very important for the Kuwaiti side to acquire Japanese experience in crucial areas such as cancer treatment," Al-Otaibi said after the talks.

As for Japan's concern on the Offset Program, he said the Kuwaiti side understands that the Japanese companies need to eliminate their burden in Kuwait, and that the issue will be conveyed to the relevant authorities.

The Kuwaiti-Japanese Businessmen's Committee, first launched in 1995, was organized by Japanese Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME) with the objectives of encouraging and promoting feasible and viable projects and joint ventures available in both countries. With about 90 representatives from various sectors in attendance on Wednesday, including 70 from the Japanese side, the forum is a most important annual gathering between the government officials and businesspeople of the two countries.

The Kuwaiti delegation included representatives from Industrial Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait Energy, Kuwait Investment Authority, Kuwait University, Essa Husain Al-Youssefi and Sons. Co., National Bank of Kuwait, United Marketing Co., and Kuwait Industries Union.

Established in 1973 under the sponsorship of the Japanese government, JCCME has long played a bridging role between Japan and the countries in the Middle East and the North Africa region on the private-sector level by providing cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, economy, and technology. It also has a Japan Desk in Kuwait, which plays a bridging role between private companies of Kuwait and Japan to help them establish joint ventures. (end) mk.wsa KUNA 021244 Oct 13NNNN

09/06/2013
Kuwaiti Future Leaders Visit the Embassy in Tokyo: Fresh Kuwait-Japan Bond Praised

Five young Kuwaitis accompanied by the patrons and TV crew from “Al-Rai TV” paid a courtesy visit to the Embassy of the State of Kuwait in Tokyo to share their experiences in Japan.

The group came to Japan as a part of exchange program organized by “Japan Future Leaders School (Principal: Mr. Hiromasa Yonekura, Chairman of Nipon Keidanren),” and sponsored by Al-Sayer Group. The seven days program in Japan included the tour to Tohoku region, where the strong earthquake and tsunami struck in March 2011.

The youth were welcomed by Mr. Hamad Al-Mulla, Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Dalah, Third Secretary, as well as Mr. Mohammad Alothman, Third Secretary. They shared their experiences of the trip to Iwate and Miyagi prefectures where they got on the Sanriku Railway train, whose cars and station buildings were newly facilitated after the disaster by donation from the State of Kuwait.

They expressed their sorrow for the remains of the massive damage caused by the disaster, but at the same time shared pleasures of observing sound recovery of the region and gratefulness for warm welcome by the local people of the area who showed their appreciation to the donation from Kuwait.

The diplomats at the Embassy appreciated that they shared their precious experiences of Japan, acknowledging that this step will contribute to strengthening the bond between the people of two countries. Mr. Al-Mulla wished them every success in their future life and hopes that this exchange program helps enrich the connections of the two countries.
Youth Invited by Japan Future Leaders School
- Mr. Musaed Al-Musaed (Kuwait Municipality)
- Mr. Ali Al-Jdeie (Kuwait Municipality)
- Ms. Noof Almuzaini (Kuwait Ministry of Finance)
- Ms. Wadhah Aladasani (Kuwait Ministry of Finance)
- Ms. Sakina Al Azmi (Kuwait Ministry of Finance)
Patrons
-Ms. Suzan Chehab (Al-Sayer Group)
-Mr. Bader Faisal Al-Sayer (Al-Sayer Group)
-Mrs. Nourah Alfahad (Teacher, Kuwait Governmental School of Handicapped)

07/31/2013
The Chargé d’Affaires participated in the Iftar hosted by Prime Minister of Japan

The Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Mr. Hamad Al-Mulla at the Embassy of the State of Kuwait was invited by the Prime Minister of Japan, H. E. Mr. Shizo Abe to an “Iftar”, the fast-breaking dinner during the holy month of Ramadan at the Prime Minister’s Office on the evening of July 31. About 34 representatives from the Islamic Diplomatic Corps in Tokyo participated in the Iftar.

The Prime Minister stated in his welcome remarks that Japan and Muslim communities have common culture which attaches importance to living together with others in the spirit of tolerance, and he desired the continuous strengthen bonds between Japan and the Islamic countries.

After that, the Chief Representative of the New Komeito Party, H. E. Mr. Natuso Yamaguchi gave an address, followed by a toast proposed by the former Prime Minister, H. E. Mr. Yoshiro Mori. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, H. E. Mr. Fumio Kishida participated in the Iftar. The first-ever Arab-African sumo wrestler, Osunaarashi from Egypt was also invited.

During the Iftar, the Chargé d’Affaires had a great opportunity to talk with the Prime Minister and appreciated the distinguished relation between the two countries and extended warm welcome to the Prime Minister referring to his visit to the State of Kuwait.

07/3/2013
Fishing Boat of Fukushima Fishery Union Launched as Another Symbol of Reconstruction: H.E. Mr. Al-Otaibi, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait Takes Pride in Kuwaiti Contribution to the Process

H.E. Mr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Otaibi, the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Japan hailed the Japanese people and authorities’ devotion to the reconstruction efforts from the East Japan Great Earthquake and the tsunami disaster, and expressed that it is the pleasure of the State of Kuwait to take part in the reconstruction process when he received a report on the Launching Ceremony of the 21st Gon-ei Maru Fishing Boat, belonging to Nakanosaku Fishery Cooperative Society, Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture.

The ceremony was held at the main factory of Kidoura Shipyard, Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture. Mr. Tanoshi Yoshida, Chairman of Nakanosaku Fishery Cooperative Society, Mr. Kazui Yoshida, President of Marunaka Fishery Co., Ltd. and Mr. Yoshida, Captain of the newly launched the 21st Gon-ei Maru welcomed guests at the ceremony. Officials of Japanese Red Cross Society also attended the ceremony.

The new fishing boat, 199 tons, was build with the cost of total 864 million yen. The donation from the State of Kuwait delivered via Fukushima Prefecture worth10 million yen was utilized to purchase some components of the boat.

The ceremony was conducted by the Japanese traditional Shinto style. Rice cakes were thrown from the shipboard to the audience. Then the ropes cutting ceremony was held. At the same time of the rope-cutting, wine bottles were thrown for break and the huge decoration ball was opened. Then the marching music started and echoed throughout the dock. The boat slowly moved towards water.

Donation from Kuwait was utilized to purchase two sets of searchlights. They are located on the bow and the side of wheelhouse of the boat. On each of the lights and stabilizers, stickers of the flag of the State of Kuwait and the Japanese Red Cross Society were pasted. The sticker says, “This equipment was donated to the Gon-ei Maru by the State of Kuwait in collaboration with Japanese Red Cross Society.”

It was reported that the people attended the ceremony expressed deep appreciation to the donation from the State of Kuwait extended to the fishing boat rehabilitation project. H.E. Ambassador Mr. Al-Otaibi was pleased to see the boat and wished the boat and fishermen further prosperity and fortune in fishing.

(Photos: Courtesy of Japanese Red Cross Society)

07/5/2013
His Excellency Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Japan discuss bolstering ties between the State of Kuwait and Okinawa Prefecture with His Excellency Okinawa Governor

Upon an invitation from Governor of Okinawa prefecture Hirokazu Nakaima, His Excellency Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Japan Abdulrahman Humood Al-Otaibi visited the southern Japanese Island on July 2-5 as a step to further bolster relations between Japan and Kuwait. Governor Nakaima lauded the strong role played by Kuwait within the regional and international arenas, commending the strong ties linking Kuwait and Japan. He also expressed Japan's gratitude towards Kuwaiti efforts in supporting his country during the Tsunami, which hit northern Japan in 2011. The Governor of Okinawa called for efforts to further boost relations especially in the areas of energy, tourism, and science. He invited Kuwaiti tourists to visit Okinawa and affirmed that the prefecture would take steps to facilitate their stay in Okinawa. On his part, Ambassador Al-Otaibi stressed the strong relations between Kuwait and Japan. His Excellency affirmed that three years prior to the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1961, the two countries were engaged in commercial activities which reflect strong historical ties between the two countries. His Excellency Ambassador added that Japan and Kuwait were both eager to further pursue the development of relations. During his stay in Okinawa, Ambassador Al-Otaibi visited the Okinawa Institute for Science and Technology (OIST) and Okinawa Prefectural Agricultural Research Center, discussing with officials opportunities to exchange expertise and enhance relations between the state of Kuwait and the two facilities. (end) mk.gta KUNA 071101 Jul 13NNNN

06/12/2013
H.E. Mr. Al-Otaibi, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Japan Visits Tokyo University of Foreign Studies: Enhancement of Academic Exchanges Encouraged

H.E. Mr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Otaibi, the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Japan paid a visit to Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, one of the oldest national university established in 1856 and one of the most esteemed university specialized in the language and culture studies and the international and area studies. Mr. Mohammad Alothman, Third Secretary accompanied the Ambassador.

Dr. Hirotaka Tateishi, President of the University welcomed the Ambassador H.E. Mr. Al-Otaibi warmly and made a briefing on the history and current constitution of the university, comprising of two undergraduate schools, graduate school, and several research institutes and language centers.

Dr. Koji Miyazaki, Executive Director for Education, Research and International Strategies briefed the Ambassador on the current situation of the international student enrollment to the university. Then Dr. Hiroko Fujimori, Vice-Director of the Japanese Language Center for International Students briefed on the center, a department a the university as well as the largest institutions for Japanese language education in Japan established in 1970. Dr. Hiroyuki Aoyama, Professor specialized in the Middle Eastern studies provided a language assistance in Arabic.

Dr. Masato Iizuka, Professor of Islamic and the Middle Eastern studies and Dr. Aiko Nishikida, Assistant Professor of the Middle Eastern area studies briefed the Ambassador on the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, attached to the university.

After the meeting, the Ambassador was guided to a building of the Japanese Language Center for International Students located in the campus by Dr. Hiroko Fujimori. H.E. Mr. Al-Otaibi attended a few classes and encouraged the international students most of whom started to learn the Japanese at the center that the language is a strong tool to understand the people and culture, and wished for bright success in the future.

06/10/2013
H.E. Mr. Al-Otaibi, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait Paid a Call to Japanese Senior Vice Minister of Education: Further Enhancement of Student Exchange Encouraged

H.E. Mr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Otaibi, the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Japan paid a working visit to H.E. Mr. Teru Fukui, Senior Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, at his office in the Ministry. Mr. Mohammad Alothman, Third Secretary accompanied the Ambassador.

Ambassador Mr. Al-Otaibi appreciated Senior Vice Minister Mr. Fukui for his sparing his precious time despite of the Diet deliberations, and extended his praise to the Japanese educational system as the advanced country of education. H.E. Mr. Fukui welcomed the Ambassador and explained the educational reform initiated by H.E. Mr. Hakubun Shimomura, the Minister, to revitalize the system to meet with the global and contemporary requirements.

Ambassador Mr. Al-Otaibi then praised the past history of friendship between the State of Kuwait and Japan and sought for means of expanding students exchange programs at the university and graduate school levels. Senior Vice Minister H.E. Mr. Fukui answered that this has been common concern for years. The both sides agreed upon the necessity of creating certain mechanism of increasing numbers of Kuwaiti students in Japan and establishing channels at the working level.

Lastly, both the Ambassador and the Senior Vice Minister renewed their determination to seek for deepening contacts at their level as well for promotion of educational exchange and science and technology cooperation.