Kuwaiti Foreign Minister leaves Japan, headed for Beijing

June 3 Kuwaiti Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah left Tokyo for Beijing on Thursday after holding talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and attending the first Japan-Kuwait Joint Committee.
During their talks on Wednesday, Sheikh Dr. Mohammad and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama reaffirmed importance of resolving issues relating to the Iranian nuclear dossier, the Iraqi situation, as well as the Middle East peace process.
Sheikh Dr. Mohammad also handed an invitation letter to Hatoyama from His Highness the Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah addressed to Japanese Emperor Akihito to visit Kuwait on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Kuwaiti-Japanese diplomatic ties in 2011.
Sheikh Dr. Mohammad also handed a letter from His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to outgoing Hatoyama to deliver it to the next premier.
He underlined the significance of the Japan-Kuwait Joint Committee and welcomed the holding of the first meeting on Wednesday ahead of golden jubilee of Kuwait-Japan diplomatic relations.
At the Joint Committee meetings, the two countries agreed to scale up cooperation in the fields of renewable energy, energy conservation, atomic energy, water business, and medical tourism. Kuwait and Japan also renewed commitment to accelerate negotiations on an agreement on the promotion and mutual protection of investments.
The two sides also confirmed their shared desire to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) between Japan and the Gulf Cooperation Council members (GCC) at an early date and to make mutual efforts to that end. The GCC groups Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, with Kuwait currently holding the rotating presidency.
Japan is also Kuwait's major trading partner, with two-way trade reaching USD 10.53 billion in 2009.
The Joint Committee was established during the visit to Japan by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in July 2008 in order to strengthen and develop their bilateral relations, particularly in the field of economy and commerce.