King Salman’s Visit to Tokyo: In Search of New Concepts for Saudi–Japanese Bilateral Relations

Makio Yamada

King Salman’s four-day visit to Tokyo in mid-March, as part of his three-week tour to five Asian countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Japan and China – was an event worthy of being described as ‘special’ in the history of Saudi–Japanese relations. Firstly, the visit was special because it was the first visit of a Saudi King to Japan for 46 years. Before King Salman, only King Faisal had visited this East Asian capital – in 1971 – and there is, in fact, a
noteworthy similarity between the visits of the two Kings. Both visits took place in the year following an announcement by the Saudi government of its new economic blueprint aiming to cope with the country’s heavy dependence on oil.