The Ambassador of Japan to Jordan Hidenao Yanagi on Thursday delivered a lecture at the University of Jordan (UJ) titled: "Japanese Policy towards Middle East including the Jordan-Japan Relations".
The ambassador highlighted Jordan's importance as a stable and moderate country in the region, especially under the strong leadership of King Abdullah II.
He explained the distinctive robust ties between Jordan and Japan. "There have been strong ties between our Imperial family and Royal Family of Hashemite Kingdom," he noted.
The Japanese diplomat elaborated on Japan's priority in assisting Jordan, pointing out that Japan is the third largest non-Arab donor country after US and Germany, with total amount of around USD 4 billion.
He underscored his country's support to help Jordan achieve a self-reliant and sustainable economic growth, reduce poverty and social gaps.
"Japan is supporting the development of industries, such as tourism industry and employment creation, which contribute to improving employment situations," he said.
The diplomat pointed to Japan's contributions in the field of electric power and water sector through a number of vital projects that aim at the sustainable and efficient distribution of such resources, and to resolve the gap between supply and demand of the scarce resources.
The ambassador stated that to support fiscal consolidation effort of government of Jordan, Japan has extended DPL as budget support to Government of Jordan so far USD 900 million.
He also spoke about Japan's efforts towards the empowerment of the socially vulnerable people, such as disabled people, women, and refugees.
"Japan attaches great importance of employment support for young people and empowerment of women, as a driving force of social stability and sustainable economic growth in Jordan," Yanagi said, "We have continuously supported several projects by JICA technical assistance and through international organizations," he added.
With regards to the Syria conflict, the Ambassador commended the generosity of the Jordanian government and its people for receiving so many refugees from Syria, adding that Japan is supporting the enhancement of the resilience of host communities in Jordan, and is working on the mitigation of Jordan’s burden on general social services such as education, health care and water sanitation.
"We helped Jordan with more than USD one billion bilaterally and have contributed to the activities of international organization in Jordan with around USD 220 million," the diplomat specified.
Concerning the Japanese foreign policy in the Middle East, Ambassador Hidenao Yanagi explained that the ME is an important region as it supplies energy resources to the world, including Japan.
"Japan has been dependent on petroleum from Middle East, since many decades. Still today our dependence on petroleum from this region is more than 85%. Therefore the stability of Middle East is crucial for the peace and stability of the international community, including Japan".
He also referred to major destabilizing challenges in the region, including the prolongation of the Syrian crisis, the existence of violent extremist organizations, the influx of refugees, as well as the stagnated Middle East Peace Process, and the situation in Yemen, and Libya.
Yanagi shortly explained the “Kono Four Principles” in Middle East as key indicators of Japan's basic principle when dealing with the Middle East.
About the Middle East Peace Process, the speaker said that Japan supports the two-state solution, and will continue its long-standing support for efforts to bring peace in the region by facilitating confidence building and economic development of Palestine.
"The issue should be settled through negotiations between the parties, based on the relevant UN SC resolutions and relevant agreements among the parties. In this connection, Japan has been promoting the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity initiative in the region" the Diplomat said.
He also pointed out to a number of projects and initiatives aimed at helping the Palestinians and the Peace Process.
At the end of the lecture, which was attended other diplomats, an extensive discussion between the lecturer and the audience took place in which the Ambassador answered a number of questions pertaining to the Japanese policy in Jordan and the East Middle East under the reign of His Majesty King Abdullah II.