Society chief thanks Amir for quake aid

TOKYO: HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito walk side by side during the welcoming ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

Japan-Kuwait Society Chairman Kuniyasu Takeda said Tuesday he had fruitful talks with His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Speaking after his meeting with the Amir, Takeda also said he thanked His Highness for offering his generous donation of 5 million barrels of crude oil to Japan to relieve the suffering from last March’s massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

The Kuwait-Japan relationship dates back to 1958, when the late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah granted Arabian Oil Company, Ltd. oil and gas concessions in the offshore Neutral Zone (now Divided Zone), the deal which led to discovery of the massive Khafji oil field. Japan-Kuwait Society, established in 1965 under the initiative of Arabian Oil with the aim of promoting friendship and cultural exchange between the two countries, now boasts of having 20 leading Japanese companies deeply linked to Kuwait as members.

In the past 47 years, the society has exerted effort to enhance understanding of Kuwait and Arab-Islam in Japan through the promotion of cultural exchange and a number of publications, including society’s newsletters introducing Kuwait and books on Arab society and culture and Islam. In addition, it runs language courses on a regular basis to spread Arabic in Japan. His Highness the Amir arrived in Tokyo on Monday for a four-day state visit. Earlier in the day, he met Japanese Emperor and House of Councilors President Kenji Hirata.