Qatar Diplomatic Crisis: Where Should Japan Stand?

Media Coverage | June 20, 2017

Writing for the Nikkei Asian Review, EWI Senior Fellow Jonathan Berkshire Miller reassessed the recent Qatar diplomatic crisis through the lens of Japanese business interests. Although the impact might have been minimal up until now, Miller contends that Japan should remain vigilant and closely monitor the conflict's evolution over the next couple of weeks and months. 

For now, Miller writes that Japan should be wary of entangling itself any further in the geopolitics of the region, even as it needs to juggle cordial business ties with both Qatar, one of its largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) suppliers, and the Saudi-led coalition, which provides it with most of its energy needs. That being said, Tokyo should look into taking advantage of the instability in order to secure a more Japan-friendly contract with Qatar's state-run petroleum company. The sanctions of the Saudi-bloc have weakened Doha's hand and Japanese utility providers could definitely demand greater flexibility at the negotiating table. Moreover, Miller highlights that "the unfolding drama in the Gulf should be a stark reminder to Tokyo of the need to diversify its LNG suppliers to ensure reliability." 

Click here to read the full article at the Nikkei Asian Review.