Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has pledged to help women in Saudi Arabia take an active role in society. He also said that he hopes to see Japan's investment in the Middle East increase.
Kono visited a Japan-affiliated plant that manufactures diapers and sanitary products outside of the capital, Riyadh.
He was briefed by a female manager as he toured the plant. He watched about 80 women working on a diaper packaging line.
Saudi Arabia has restricted women's activities in society under a strict interpretation of Islamic law. But recent economic reforms have helped promote women. The plant is increasing the number of women in its workforce.
After the tour Kono said that further reform in the country is integral to the stability of the region and that it should be supported.
The foreign minister added that he will support Japanese companies thinking about investing in Saudi Arabia.