Tokyo — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman arrived in Tokyo on Sunday on a four-day visit to Japan.
The King was received at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo by Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan, Saudi Ambassador to Japan Ahmed Younis Al-Barrak, and members of the Saudi Embassy.
This is the first visit to Japan by a Saudi king in nearly five decades.
On the sidelines of the King’s visit, King Abdulaziz University signed in Tokyo on Sunday two cooperation agreements with two Japanese institutions aimed at enhancing partnership and activating projects in the fields of technology, industry, research and culture.
The first agreement was signed between Prince Khaled Al-Faisal’s Center for Moderation at KAU with the Strategic Institute of International Studies of Tokai University. This was for the first time the institute is signing an agreement with a foreign agency and the deal is meant for disseminating the culture of moderation and highlighting the true image of Islam and Saudi Arabia in the global arena.
The second agreement was inked between Wadi Jeddah, an investment arm of KAU, and Kanago Science Garden of Japan. The garden is one of the most successful Japanese firms in the field of technological investment and supporting business entrepreneurs and their entities.
Several more memoranda of understanding are expected to be signed during the King’s stay in Japan.
King Salman is scheduled to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday and Emperor Akihito on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of oil exports for Japan, which relies on Middle East for energy to power the world’s third largest economy.
Japan hopes to use the visit to widen its relations with Saudi Arabia and help the country’s efforts to diversify its economy, including exploring ways to increase Japanese investments in non-energy sectors such as manufacturing, according to officials.
King Salman’s arrival marks the first visit to Japan by a Saudi leader since the 1971 visit to Japan by the late King Faisal.
King Salman himself, however, last visited Japan in 2014 as a crown prince.
The King is on a month-long tour to Asia, which has already taken him to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
After Japan, King Salman is scheduled to visit China and the Maldives.