Full Text of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Speech at Arab Week Receiption

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

PM Abe speaks at the event

Tokyo- (PanOrient News)This is the full speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Arab Week Reception held in Tokyo on Monday April 4, 2016:

“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Arab Ambassadors’ Council (AAC) and everyone in attendance here today for the invitation to this Arab Week Reception.

Since my inauguration as Prime Minister, I have visited the Middle East five times. This is a testament to just how important the Middle East is to Japan and Japan’s feelings of friendship for the region. My visits to the Arab region, with its long-standing history and cultures, are always exciting experiences.

I am in constant contact with the leaders of the Arab region as well. Since the start of this year, I have welcomed both President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt to the Prime Minister's Office. In addition, I have been able to meet and have extremely significant exchanges with His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia during COP21 in November, and with His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein of Jordan during the Nuclear Security Summit last week.

Japan and the Arab region share much in common. We both place importance on tradition. The philosophy of respecting the middle path is also fundamental to our way of life. This is an important philosophy in light of the growing extremism and disturbance of order in the Middle East that we are currently witnessing.

Japan will exert every effort to support the Islamic countries that are standing on the front lines to confront extremism. We will further expand humanitarian support and combine it with development support. Confident in our belief that ‘the best way is in the middle,’ we will extend our full cooperation for restoring stability in the Middle East.

There are actually a variety of bonds that exist between the people of Japan and the Arab region. Ever since the Great East Japan Earthquake, the children of the Gaza Strip have been putting on annual kite flying events in order to encourage the children of the region affected by the disaster.

The young people of Palestine and Israel who have visited Japan through the Middle East Peace Project foster mutual understanding with each other while they are here and renew their resolve toward peace.

I invite the participants of this project to the Prime Minister’s Office, and whenever I speak with them, I am always deeply impressed by the great potential they hold.

To everyone in attendance today, I wish to say that Japan and the countries of the Arab region have a close and deep relationship that overcomes our geographic distance, and is full of great potential.

Osunaarashi’s brilliant victory in the juryo (second-tier) division of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament was a splendid achievement that is representative of the development of relations between Japan and the Arab region, and offers us new hope.

I would like to close my remarks by expressing my conviction that the relationship between Japan and the Arab region will continue to grow ever deeper.”

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