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Chapter Nine. The Middle East: Oil Diplomacy And Issues Of War And Peace

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Chapter Summary

Japan is almost entirely dependent on imported energy resources. On 6 October 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel and the Yom Kippur War began. The Yom Kippur War is remembered as the first war where oil was used as a real strategic weapon in a Middle East conflict. Japan, overwhelmingly dependent on Middle East oil, was hard hit by this first oil embargo. Great efforts were exerted by the government to overcome the oil crisis. The first priority of Japanese foreign policy in the Middle East is the Persian Gulf region. This includes the six countries from OAPEC (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Iraq), Iran and Oman. Relations with the countries involved in the Middle Eastern peace process are the second pillar of the Japanese foreign policy toward the Middle East. These countries include Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the PLO.

Keywords: Japan; Japanese foreign policy; Middle East oil; Middle Eastern peace process; Yom Kippur War

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