The Japanese government plans to launch bilateral security dialogue with Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar in a bid to ensure stable supply of crude oil and other fossil fuels, informed sources told Japan’s Jiji Press Thursday.
Japan is expected to reach agreements with the three Persian Gulf nations when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits them as part of a Middle East tour starting Aug 24, the sources said.
The security dialogue will involve foreign policy and defence officials.
Japan reached a similar agreement with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates when Abe visited the member countries of the six-state Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in April and May.
The prospect for an agreement with Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar means that Japan will have security talks with all GCC members except Oman.
The security dialogue will cover a wide range of issues, including ways to secure sea lane safety, Iran’s nuclear development programme and the Syrian situation.
Sea lane safety in the Persian Gulf is essential for Japan as the country depends on the Middle East for some 80 pct of its oil imports and 30 pct of its liquefied natural gas imports.
As part of his Middle East tour, Abe also plans to visit Djibouti and meet with Japanese Self-Defence Forces officers engaged in anti-piracy missions off Somalia, the sources said.