TOKYO – Japan Today
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday asked Saudi Arabia to cooperate in stabilizing crude oil prices amid supply shortages and geopolitical tensions in telephone talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Japanese government said.
Calling Saudi Arabia a “strategic partner,” Kishida expressed hope that he could deepen ties with the crown prince of the major oil-producing country.
Crown Prince Mohammed responded that Saudi Araba will contribute toward stabilizing the global oil market, adding that he wants to expand cooperation with Japan beyond the energy sector, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry. The conversation lasted about 20 minutes.
Resource-poor Japan relies heavily on energy imports and Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest crude oil exporters to Japan.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-members such as Russia agreed Wednesday to continue raising production as planned for March.
Higher fuel costs are affecting Japanese households in the winter and the Japanese government has decided to subsidize domestic oil distributors to help lower retail gasoline prices.
Kishida and the crown prince also exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, agreeing to closely coordinate on those issues, according to the ministry.