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DUBAI: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived in the UAE on Monday to discuss cooperation on clean hydrogen, ammonia and recycled carbon fuels ahead of this year’s UN climate talks in Dubai.

Kishida’s visit to the United Arab Emirates, which will host COP28 in November-December, is part of the first Gulf tour by a Japanese premier since the late Shinzo Abe in 2020.

Kishida is arriving from Saudi Arabia, where he met de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday. After talks with UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, he will head to Qatar on Tuesday.

The Japanese PM plans to offer Japan’s “cutting-edge decarbonisation technologies” as part of a green energy initiative for the Middle East, he said in an open letter carried by the UAE’s official WAM news agency.

Tokyo’s embassy confirmed the comments.

Under the initiative, the UAE and Japan “will be well placed to collaborate in the related fields of hydrogen and ammonia production and utilisation as well as carbon recycling”, Kishida added.

As the oil-rich UAE gears up to host the COP28 United Nations climate talks, many countries remain far apart on ways to reduce fossil fuels and the global warming they cause.

“Japan will work closely with the UAE towards the success of COP28,” Kishida said.

On Sunday, he discussed energy security with senior Saudi officials including Prince Mohammed in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, official Saudi statements said.

Japan relies almost entirely on imports for its crude oil, with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar accounting for the bulk of its supplies.

“The Kingdom, based on its commitment to the strategic relationship with Japan in the field of energy, will continue to ensure the security of oil supplies to Japan,” Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Sunday, in comments published on his ministry’s website.

The prime minister was due to visit Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar in August last year, but he postponed the trip after contracting the coronavirus.

His trip comes at a time of deepening engagement between the region and China which brokered a shock detente between Gulf rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran in March.

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