Saudi King's Asian tour signals changing priorities for Riyadh

In the document, titled "Japan-Saudi Vision 2030", the Japanese and Saudi governments agreed to work together on a total of 43 projects, 31 of which will be designated as pilot projects.

Local department stores have pulled out the stops with shopping deals for the visiting delegation, for whom about 1,200 rooms in Tokyo luxury hotels have also been reserved and 500 limousines hired.

As India is readying itself to receive King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud later this year, Secretary (Economic Relations) Amar Sinha, at an event today, said India-Saudi Arabia relations were growing rapidly beyond the field of energy with both countries in talks to explore joint production.

King Salman later attended the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum.

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The two countries go way back.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, wants to diversify its economy with its revenues hit by falling crude oil prices. A joint study group on the planned initial public offering of Saudi Arabian Oil, better known as Saudi Aramco, will include the Tokyo Stock Exchange, with an eye toward a potential listing in Tokyo as well.

"Japan on the other hand is aiming to boost exports, investments and tourists in particular by exploring new growth markets beyond its domestic and neighboring countries", the statement continued. The 81-year-old king was accompanied by a massive delegation including royal family members and ministers.

King Salman said: "I feel that this vision will further strengthen the strategic partnership between our countries".

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In September past year, Emperor Akihito held talks with the king's son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, at the Imperial residence.

Retno added that in the next two months, the President would he send a minister to follow up King Salman's visit to Indonesia.

Yesterday, the two leaders also discussed the security situation in the Middle East, with the King describing Japan as a "core partner" in the fight against terrorism.

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