Kono Pledges Support For Saudi Economic Reform

Kono pledges support for Saudi economic reform

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has pledged support for Saudi Arabia's effort to reform its economy. Kono made the promise in a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday.

Kono is making his 100th foreign visit since he took his position in August 2017.

He confirmed with the Crown Prince that their economic ministers will hold talks in Tokyo in June on a wide range of issues, including desalination projects and other business tie-ups.

Kono also met Saudi Arabian foreign minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf and thanked him for supporting Japan at the recent WTO meeting.

South Korea banned the import of some Japanese fishery products after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.

A Saudi representative told a WTO meeting that food products from Japan are safe. The body ruled in Seoul's favor.

Kono also touched on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. He said Japan trusts that Saudi justice authorities will uncover the truth and work to prevent anything similar happening again.

Kono told reporters after the meeting that the Middle East is pivotal to the stable supply of energy to Japan and the country is willing to contribute to the peace and stability of the region.