The Japanese government has released a diplomatic report on the various issues facing the country in the 21st century, which includes rising emerging countries like China, the increasing role of globalisation and terrorism, and the rise of a multipolarity world system. Given Egypt’s importance in the region, it is dubbed an important country contributing to Japan’s economic or national self-interest.
80% of Japan’s imported oil comes from the Middle East and North Africa, according to the 2016 Diplomatic Blue Book released by the Japanese ministry of foreign affairs. The book details Japan’s strategic interests and concerns. Oil security and the national stability of oil-producing states is a major interest in the region to end extremism and the refugee crisis, which has destabilised nations regionally and in Europe.
During a speech given by Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe titled “The Best Path is in the Middle” at the Egypt Japan Business Committee, the prime minister stated that Japan is seeking to end extremism in the region by unleashing Egypt’s potential. The speech also announced an investment of almost $20bn targeting education, electric, infrastructural capacity, industrial factories, energy, agricultural mechanisation, irrigation water treatment, sewage plants, and other projects, such as the construction of the Grand Museum.
“Japanese investments have contributed and will continue to contribute to the economic and industrial development, as well as creating job opportunities in Egypt through various large-scale national projects, such as the Suez Canal Regional Development Project, proactively initiated and strongly led by the Egyptian government,” said Takehiro Kagawa, ambassador of Japan to Egypt in the Blue Book report.
Japan also affirmed its commitment to Japanese-Egyptian cooperation in the field of security. Following the first political, security, and defence dialogue which was held in October 2015, acting defence minister Katsutoshi Kawano visited Egypt in December and met with the Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces Mahmoud Hegazy.