Saudi King kick-starts Japan visit

Tokyo [Japan], Mar. 12 (ANI): Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz al-Saud began a four-day Japan visit on Sunday, marking the first trip to the country by a Saudi king in 46 years.

Kyodo News reported that Salman, who is visiting with his delegation, is scheduled to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and have a lunch with Emperor Akihito during his stay in Japan, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Arriving at Tokyo's Haneda airport Sunday evening, the Saudi king was welcomed by Crown Prince Naruhito.

Kyodo reported that according to sources approximately 10 aircraft were required to transport the huge delegation to Japan. To prepare for the group accompanying the king, including members of the Saudi royal family and ministers, over 1,000 rooms at high-end hotels in Tokyo have been reserved as well as some 500 limousines hired.

In his meeting with Abe, King Salman is expected to seek Japan's cooperation in boosting private-sector investment in the Middle Eastern country.

Saudi Arabia, the largest supplier of crude oil to Japan, is pursuing structural reforms to reduce its economy's heavy dependence on oil amid a slump in crude prices.

The Japanese government is planning to urge Saudi Arabia to include the Tokyo Stock Exchange among the bourses on which Saudi Aramco shares will be listed. (ANI)