Japan and UAE vowed on Monday to forge closer economic ties to ensure stable energy supplies to the world's second-largest economy.
The pledge came at the first meeting in Tokyo of a joint economic committee made up of cabinet-level officials.
"I feel certain we will be able to forge a more idealistic partnership by combining stable supplies of crude oil from the UAE and extending Japan's technological and financial aid," Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura told the meeting, according to a Japanese official.
Resource-poor Japan relies on the Middle East for roughly 90 per cent of its oil, and the UAE is its second-biggest supplier after Saudi Arabia, meeting about 25 per cent of its needs.
Japan has voiced concerns about securing resources in the face of rising competition from China and India.
"Japan-UAE relations have been developing steadily and such relations are particularly strong in the field of energy and gas," General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces told Japanese Trade Minister Akira Amari, according to a Japanese official. "We want to continue to cooperate with Japan."
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation is to sign a deal to co-finance up to $3bn in loans to the UAE's Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC), an industry source said on Monday. The state-backed Japanese bank signed a strategic partnership with state-run ADNOC earlier this year to deepen bilateral ties in the oil and gas sector and secure long-term crude oil supply deals for Japanese oil firms. (Reuters)