King Salman to hold talks with Japanese premier today

King Salman is received by Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito in Tokyo on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 13 March 2017
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King Salman to hold talks with Japanese premier today

RIYADH: King Salman, whose ongoing visit to Japan has rich political and economic connotation for the two countries, will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

On arrival, Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito and top Japanese officials at Haneda airport greeted the king and his entourage of about 1,000 members.
“King Salman is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday, while the king will attend a lunch banquet hosted by Japanese Emperor Akihito on Tuesday,” said Setsuo Ohmori, charge d’affaires at the Japanese Embassy, here on Sunday. He said that several agreements would be signed during the royal visit.
“Some of them include an accord for implementation of Saudi-Japan Vision 2030, cooperation in the field of trade and investment, agreement in the field of art and culture, industry, health care, science and technology, education and sports,” said Ohmori. He said the Japanese Embassy will release details of the agreements after formal endorsement by both sides.
Ohmori said that an order named “Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of Chrysanthemum” will be conferred on the king. “This is the order of the highest rank and conferred exclusively to the kings and high-profile royalties,” said the diplomat.
Commenting on the visit of the king to Japan, an SPA report quoting Norihiro Okuda termed the visit as “important,” which will enhance bilateral relations between the two countries. Okuda said, “the regional issues in Asia and the Middle East would dominate the agenda of the meetings of the two leaderships, who are keen to achieve international peace and stability.”
He added that an earlier visit to Japan undertaken by Deputy Crown Prince, and Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman was a good opportunity that led to the cementing of relations between the two countries.
The envoy said that the Kingdom remains the key and dependable oil supplier to Japan, while Saudi Arabia will remain one of the key importers of Japanese industrial products. “This is a good proof that the future trade relations between the two countries will be promising and bright,” he added.


Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

Updated 15 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

  • A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally
  • “This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

RIYADH: Formula E is one for the books. Attracting fans from all over the world, the mega event — held in the historic Saudi town of Ad Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is set to revolutionize motorsports by using only electric race cars. 

Officially known as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the race expects to draw 40,000 attendees, with access not only to the race but also to the Kingdom’s largest ever festival for music, entertainment and cultural activities.

A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally.

A milestone was marked as Bandar Alesayi and Ahmed bin Khanen became the first Saudi I-Pace eTrophy racers, sponsored by the General Sports Authority (GSA). 

Both drivers predict increased grassroots support in the Kingdom for youths to train in carting and race-car driving.  

At 1.76 miles long with 21 corners, the track is somewhat tricky for first-time Formula E drivers.

“The system is like Mario Bros when they get the little star and go faster,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. The new electric circuit in Saudi Arabia has been hailed as one of the best Formula E tracks.

The three-day event is hosting some of the world’s top singers, including Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and One Republic, along with DJ EJ. 

“This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

Outside the venue, Al-Bujairy, one of Ad Diriyah’s historic areas, hosts high-end restaurants, cafes and local designer outlets overlooking the historic district of At-Turaif, which was once home to the Saudi royal family and has newly opened for visitors.

Another area of interest is the Family Zone, with many events and activities to entertain all age groups. Men, women and children are given different driving experiences.

In Ad Diriyah’s Formula E, only one car is allowed per driver instead of two, making pit stops more crucial in terms of timing.  

“Attack mode” gives cars a temporary power boost from 200 to 225 kilowatts, equivalent to 268-302 horsepower. Drivers need to move to a certain area on the track to activate this mode.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, as we open the Kingdom to the world in a transformation that’s being supercharged by the Vision 2030 plan, driven forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, told Arab News.