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Emperor receives Saudi king at Imperial Palace in Tokyo

Emperor receives Saudi king at Imperial Palace in Tokyo

The king himself is staying at Tokyo's State Guest House.

"We are looking forward to the visit of the King of Saudi Arabia later this year", External Affairs Secretary (Economic Relations) Amar Sinha, said at an event organised by the Saudi petrochemicals giant SABIC.

"Direct and secondary economic effects are expected", Sakakibara Sadayuki, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, told reporters on Monday. "The 1,000-strong group is just unbelievable", Abe said during a meeting with ruling party lawmakers last week, according to informed sources.

Specific projects on which the two countries plan to work together include the following: establishing a joint research group to consider 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.

The agreements came on the second day of Saudi King Salman's visit to Tokyo, the first by a Saudi monarch since 1971.

Abe and King Salman agreed to beef up their countries' security cooperation, including the resumption of subcabinet-level talks, while defining the bilateral relationship as a strategic partnership.

They also agreed to start a feasibility study on vehicle production in the Middle Eastern country. (JPX) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday that will formalize and develop further cooperation between the two exchanges.

Mr Al-Sati said the Kingdom's Vision 2030 plan aims to free the Saudi economy from dependence on oil by diversifying its sources of income, attract foreign investment and make Saudi Arabia a manufacturing hub. The two governments will also explore setting up special economic zones in Saudi Arabia, with tax breaks and looser regulations that could benefit Japanese companies.

The two countries go way back.

Japan has offered to share its expertise in supply chain management, healthcare and renewable energy with Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom seeks to wean its economic dependency on crude oil.

The king is also scheduled Tuesday to meet Emperor Akihito for a luncheon at the Imperial Palace.

In September past year, Emperor Akihito held talks with the king's son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, at the Imperial residence.

The entourage has made headlines around the world for its size and luxury, at least 25 princes, 10 ministers, 700 support staff and 500 tonnes of baggage are accompanying the king as he continues his journey through Asia.

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