Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

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Taro Kono denounced the recent attacks on Aramco sites in Saudi Arabia. (AN Images/Kevin Hammontree)
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Taro Kono denounced the recent attacks on Aramco sites in Saudi Arabia. (AN Images/Kevin Hammontree)
Updated 17 September 2019

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

 

 

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.

 

 


Saudi Arabia records lowest daily COVID-19 death rate for two weeks

Updated 13 July 2020

Saudi Arabia records lowest daily COVID-19 death rate for two weeks

  • The Kingdom’s daily new case figure also continued to drop
  • There are currently 2,245 patients in critical care units

LONDON: Saudi Arabia on Monday reported its lowest daily death toll from COVID-19 in two weeks, with 20 people dying from the virus in the past 24 hours.

The Kingdom’s daily new case figure also continued to drop from highs a fortnight ago, with 2,852 new infections reported on Monday.

The total number of cases in Saudi Arabia reached 235,111 and the death toll across the country stands at 2,243.

The number of recoveries in Saudi Arabia rose to 169,842 after another 2,704 people recovered from the virus.

Among the new confirmed cases, Riyadh recorded the highest number, with 258 infections in one day. Jeddah reported 235 new infections, while Al-Hafouf detected 203 new infections.

On Sunday, the Saudi health ministry said the rate of critical COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom was stabilizing and had decreased over the past two weeks as the country continued to see a decline in new cases.

There are currently 2,245 patients in critical care units.