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On Gulf tour, Japan's PM secures energy ties as China’s influence grows

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s three-day trip that began Sunday to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar — its key energy suppliers — is seen as a crucial move to secure Japan’s energy future.
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida prepares before a roundtable meeting during the 29th EU-Japan Summit at the European Union building, Brussels, Belgium, July 13, 2023.

DUBAI — Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ended his Gulf tour from Doha Tuesday with the hope that he secured his country’s relationship with its most important energy suppliers, as competitor China’s influence grows in the region and Japan’s energy resources are threatened by geopolitics. 

Kishida concluded a trip Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar on Tuesday.

Japan, which already depends on the Middle East for more than 90% of its oil supply, has suffered from the global economic impact of Russia's war on Ukraine that has led to less reliable sources of energy and also increased prices. 

The country, also a Group of Seven (G-7) member, holds grave concerns that its alignment with the West has the potential to put it at odds with its primary energy suppliers and jeopardizes its energy security.

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