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 announces 327 cases of coronavirus

Updated 45 min 1 sec ago

Saudi Arabia announces 327 cases of coronavirus

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 327 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday bringing the total number of cases in the Kingdom to 2,932.
The figure for the number of coronavirus cases recorded on April 7 include the 190 people who were reported as having the virus at midday on Tuesday, and a further 137 people who tested positive after midday.
In total, 631 coronavirus patients have recovered.
There have been 41 deaths from the virus in the Kingdom so far.


Meanwhile, the Saudi Ministry of Health has launched a new app aimed at monitoring the conditions of people suspected of having the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Tatamman (meaning, rest assured) app will allow individuals who are self-isolating or in quarantine to access up-to-date advice and information on the virus and their health status.
Ministry spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, said: “It (the app) is for those who have the symptoms, or recently returned to Saudi Arabia, those who have been in direct contact with a positive case, as well as those currently under home quarantine as instructed by the ministry.”