RIYADH: Japan’s Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa attended a signing ceremony on Thursday in Riyadh alongside Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan, as part of their first strategic dialogue meeting between the two nations.

Hayashi and Prince Faisal kicked off their meeting by signing a memorandum based on the strategic dialogue agreement that was established in July between Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

During the meeting, Hayashi stated that Japan attaches great importance to strategic partnerships with Saudi Arabia, and that Japan seeks to enhance bilateral cooperation in a wide range of fields as well as in the international arena.

The two foreign ministers agreed to utilize the strategic dialogue as a guideline for bilateral relations.

Hayashi reiterated his hope to continue strengthening relations and benefiting from existing frameworks. In response, Prince Faisal confirmed the Kingdom’s cooperation to further strengthen relations with Japan.

Hayashi also proposed holding a policy planning meeting at the administrative level to exchange views on international affairs and common issues.

Prince Faisal agreed and supported the proposal.

Hayashi addressed the recent decision taken by Japan to facilitate the issuance of multiple entry visas for Saudi citizens looking to visit the Asian country. Prince Faisal welcomed the decision.

The two officials expressed their hopes to implement concrete cooperation projects to achieve the vision of making the Middle East a global center for supplying clean energy and vital minerals.

Hayashi clarified Japan’s position regarding the recent discharge of treated water into the sea, while referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s assessment in its comprehensive report.

In response, Prince Faisal stated that Saudi Arabia supports Japan’s efforts in this area.

According to a statement from Japan’s Embassy in Saudi Arabia, Hayashi also stressed the need to lead the international community towards cooperation, instead of division and confrontation, in addressing issues related to peace and stability, including in the Indo-Pacific region.

He also expressed Japan’s hope to work closely with Saudi Arabia, as the two countries share a recognition of the importance of the rule of law and international cooperation.

The two ministers also had a frank exchange of views on the situation in the Middle East and East Asia and agreed to continue working together to achieve peace and stability in the two regions.

In addition, Prince Faisal expressed his support for Japan’s position regarding North Korea.

Hayashi is visiting Saudi Arabia to participate in the first Gulf Cooperation Council-Japan Summit, which was set to discuss trade, investment and global security challenges.

He also met with Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Oman’s Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Albusaidi and Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

The Japanese foreign minister is set to hold several meetings with other GCC leaders on Thursday to discuss how to further strengthen cooperation between the Gulf and Japan.