Japan FM Hayashi meets Gulf Cooperation Council counterparts

Japan's Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa held talks with the foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh on Thursday.

Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and the GCC members agreed during his visit to Saudi Arabia in July to hold meetings of their foreign ministers on a regular basis.

Hayashi said Japan hopes the GCC will play a leading role in stabilizing the global oil market. Japan imports more than 90 percent of its crude oil from the GCC nations.

Hayashi expressed Japan's intention to support the GCC members' efforts for decarbonization and business diversification.

The ministers agreed to start talks on resuming negotiations next year for a free trade agreement between Japan and the GCC countries. The negotiations have been suspended for more than 10 years.

They also confirmed they will cooperate closely in wide-ranging areas in line with a 5-year action plan drawn up by Japan and the GCC.

Hayashi said at a joint news conference that Japan aims to expand cooperation with the GCC to new fields and to deepen ties to tackle international issues.