Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to visit the United Arab Emirates in January to discuss the extension of Japanese firms’ rights in offshore oil fields, a government source said Sunday.
Some oil rights owned by Japanese companies in offshore oil fields near Abu Dhabi are set to expire next March and Tokyo hopes to extend them, as UAE is the second-largest oil supplier to Japan after Saudi Arabia.
If realized, it will be Abe’s first trip to UAE since his visit in May 2013. During the visit, Abe is expected to call for coordination for stable oil supply, as well as strengthening bilateral relations with UAE in the fields of security and industrial development, according to the source.
Abe will likely make a final decision on the travel, taking into account such factors as the timing of the convening of the ordinary Diet session and the planned but delayed trilateral summit in Tokyo which will involve leaders of Japan, China and South Korea, the source said.
The prime minister will also consider visiting some members of the Association of the Southeast Asia Nations on the occasion of the planned trip to UAE, the source added.
In the UAE capital, the general meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency is scheduled to be held in mid-January. The Japanese government is mulling sending Foreign Minister Taro Kono to make a pitch for Japan’s technology in renewable energy, such as a scheme to develop a hydrogen-powered society in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, the source said.