Japan asked the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday to make "proactive contributions" as a major oil producer, and the two agreed to work closely to help stabilize surging crude oil prices triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.
After a phone call with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Kishida told reporters that Japan and the UAE -- a nonpermanent member of the U.N. Security Council -- will also seek closer coordination in responding to the crisis in Ukraine.
The UAE is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and is a major exporter, along with Saudi Arabia, to resource-scarce Japan. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Japan-UAE diplomatic relations.
"I asked for the UAE's proactive contributions as an OPEC member," Kishida told reporters after his roughly 15-minute call.
"The presence of the UAE is big when it comes to stabilizing global crude oil markets," he said, without revealing whether he had asked for an output increase.
Russia is one of the world's major crude oil and natural gas producers and the war in Ukraine has heightened geopolitical risks and supply concerns.
Surging crude oil and other commodity prices have raised alarm among policymakers in Japan, which relies on foreign nations for energy. To mitigate the impact of higher fuel costs, the government has increased its subsidies for wholesalers to lower gasoline prices.
The aggression in Ukraine by Russia, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, has triggered international condemnation and a raft of economic and financial sanctions to hold Moscow accountable.
Kishida has said the "reckless" act of Russia has raised the need for a new framework for global order. He vowed at a ruling party convention on Sunday that his administration will "make its utmost" effort to reform the U.N. Security Council.
The UAE abstained from a vote on a U.S.-led resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine, along with China and India. Russia vetoed it.
But the UAE voted for a resolution by the U.N. General Assembly demanding Russia immediately end its military offensive in Ukraine.