Qatar-Japan Relations

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries

Diplomatic relations were  established in 1972. The  relationship focused since its inception on the economic side in the first place, but it began in recent years to include multiple areas such as investment, education and scientific and medical research, science and technology, tourism, infrastructure development, human resource development and training of cadres in different areas.
A Japanese school was opened in Doha in May 2009, at the initiative of His Highness the Father Amir, "may God preserve him," The number of the Japanese community living in Qatar is (872) persons, according to the latest statistics in July 2014.
Mutual visits at the level of  senior officials of the two countries contributed to development and expansion of bilateral relations, among the most important visits made in recent years by both sides are as follows: -


The most important visits of senior officials from Qatar to Japan

  • Visit of His Highness Sheikh / Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (may Allah protect him). (February 2015).
  • Visit of His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh / Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, may Allah protect him and his wife Her Highness Sheikha / Moza bint Nasser Al misnad (may Allah protect her). (2005)

  • Visit of His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh / Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, may Allah protect him (1999).
  • Visit of His Highness Sheikh / Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir, may God protect him, (2009).

  • Visit of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Misnad, consort of His Highness the Father Amir (2001, 2014).


The most important visits from the Japanese side to Qatar

  • Visit of His  Imperial Highness the Crown Prince Naruhito, and  his wife Princess Masako (1994).
  • Visit of the Japanese Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe (August 2013, May 2007).

Developments in the political relations

  • Political relations between the two countries witness a remarkable development, thanks to the exchange of visits at the highest levels.
  • The Japan – Qatar  friendship Association and the Qatar- Japan Association, whose membership includes companies that have business interests in both countries, along with Japan Parliamentary League for Friendship with the State of Qatar, contribute with  unremitting efforts to the  development of  these relations.
  • The two countries boosted bilateral coordination and exchange of information about the regional and global issues of mutual support for the positions of both countries in accordance with common interests over those issues.  The two countries were able to activate cooperation frameworks in the field of exchange of support for nominations in international organizations, and to encourage active participation in international and regional conferences organized in both countries

Developments in economic relations

  •   Qatar is the  largest supplier countries of  petroleum gases to Japan, and there was increased volume of trade between the two countries in recent years, reaching in 2012 of 33.9 billion dollars, and in 2013 the trade volume between the two countries reached  37.32 billion dollars, in 2014 it  amounted to 33.7 billion dollars (32.2 billion dollars were the Japan's imports and its  exports were 1.5 to the State of Qatar). There is increasing number of Japanese companies operating in the State of Qatar in the energy and infrastructure projects, and there are many commercial companies and shipping companies and companies specializing in plant engineering. .
  • The State of Qatar is currently the fourth largest in the world as the biggest Japan provider for Japan  with energy resources, providing 11.6% of the total oil needs of Japan (ranked third after Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates), and 19.31% of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) (second only to Australia ), and 26.94% of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (second only to the United Arab Emirates).
  • The two sides managed to  effect coordination and bilateral cooperation on various trade and investment areas, such as energy, information and communications technology, education and scientific research, aviation, agriculture and food security, financial intelligence and the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism and related crimes.
  • Economic relations between Qatar and Japan was culminated in the signing of a joint statement in Doha in April, 2006, to establish a joint Economic Committee to promote economic cooperation. Since the first ministerial meeting of the Committee held  in Tokyo on 13 November 2006, the Japanese capital annually hosted the ministerial meetings of this Committee, and the Ninth Meeting held in September 2015. The Tenth meeting is scheduled to be held in Tokyo in November 2016.

The most important commodities exchanged between Qatar and Japan:

The most important Qatari exports:

  • Natural Gas and Oil .
  • Aluminum and Articles thereof.
  • Fertilizers.
  • Organic Chemicals.
  • Plastics and Articles thereof.
  • Inorganic Chemicals.
  • Copper and Articles thereof.
  • Qatari natural gas constitutes 18% of Japan's imports of natural gas.
  • Negotiation  is currently underway  between the Qatar Gas Company and several Japanese companies to increase the country's exports of natural gas to Japan.

  Qatar most important imports:

  • Cars and other vehicles of the rail, tram.
  • Rubber and Articles thereof.
  • Articles of iron or steel.
  • Electronic and electrical equipment.
  • Man-made fibers.
  • Stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica.
  • Filaments : man-made.
The Japanese market is the third largest importer of oil after the United States and China and is considered the second importer of coal . Dependence on fossil fuels has increased, especially after the nuclear disaster,  and radiation leakage that occurred in 2011.

Agreements and memorandum of understanding between the two countries

  • A memorandum of cooperation in the field of defense (February 2015).

  • The mutual exemption of visas for holders of diplomatic and official travel / special passports agreement (February 2015).

  • Agreement  of Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income (February 2015).

  • A memorandum of cooperation in the fields of Education and Scientific Research and Technology (February 2015).

  • A memorandum of cooperation in the field of information and communication technology (February 2015) .

  • A memorandum of cooperation in the field of Health (February 2015).

  • A memorandum of cooperation in the field of youth and sports (February 2015).

  • A memorandum of cooperation in the field of tourism (February 2015).

  • A memorandum of understanding between the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (February 2015).

  • Memorandum of Understanding in the field of scientific research and the exchange of experiences and students between Qatar University and the University of Osaka and a number of Japanese research institutes led by the Japanese RIKEN Research Institute (February 2015).

  • Air services agreement between the two countries in 1998.

  • Memorandum of Understanding in the field of air transport in 2012.

  • Annex amendment  of the Agreement on air services between the two countries in 2008.

  • Memorandum of Understanding in the field of energy (August 2013).

  • Memorandum of Understanding in the field of training Qatari engineers (August 2013).

  • A memorandum of understanding  on  the political and security dialogue (August 2013).

Qatar Friendship Fund (QFA)

In the wake of the earthquake disaster and tsunami of 11 March 2011 AD, which struck northeastern Japan regions, His Highness the Father Amir, "may God protect him" directed the provision of  aid worth US $ 100 million to support disaster victims in Japan and the "Qatar Friendship Fund" has been established  to carry out the reconstruction of the affected areas and support the vital sectors affected by disasters such as the fishing industry, health, and education, along with contributing to the support of children in  affected areas and help them to forget the shock of the disaster through the funding of entertainment programs in tourist areas within Japan

The Qatar Friendship Fund so far completed  about ten projects in the three affected  provinces  of   Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi, in the areas of education, health, fisheries, and is expected to benefit from this humanitarian projects, directly and indirectly, about 649 thousand citizens from all segments of Japanese society in the regions affected by disasters. All projects  (12 in total)have been completed  in October 2016.. These projects have been met by acceptance and approval of  the Japanese people on the official and popular levels .. and the name  of the State of Qatar has become highlighted, especially in the Tohoku region, in view of this humanitarian gesture.

The humanitarian assistance pledged by  the State of Qatar to be  provided  for victims of disasters in northeastern Japan is one of the biggest material assistance provided  by other countries to Japan after the disaster. This generous initiative's impact on the Japanese  from all segments has been  great. On more than one occasion, Japanese officials were keen on commending  this aid which reflected the support of Qatar's  leadership, government and people for Japan in its  ordeal.