RIYADH: The Japanese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Fumio Iwai, hosted a reception at his residence to celebrate the Ambassador’s Commendation in honor of Faisal J. Abbas, editor in chief of Arab News, the leading Saudi daily English language newspaper, which in October 2019 became the first pan-Arab media outlet to launch a Japanese edition.
In his recognition speech, Ambassador Iwai highlighted Abbas’s efforts in transforming Arab News into a more digital, more global platform with several international editions.
Iwai underscored the fact that the Japanese version of the newspaper — within just two years — has become a credible, reliable source for government officials, business executives and researchers interested in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East.
On this occasion, the Japanese ambassador also referred to the landmark Arab News/YouGov study on how the Arab world views Japan, which has become a go-to source for understanding regional sentiment toward his country. He also commended the newspaper’s special coverage of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s visit to the Kingdom in January 2020.
In his reply, Abbas thanked Ambassador Iwai for bestowing this great honor on him, which he dedicated to the Saudi leadership and to his colleagues at Arab News.
Abbas said that the success of the Japanese edition was mainly due to two reasons: The strategic importance and mutual respect which define the official relationship between Riyadh and Tokyo, and the genuine admiration Saudis have for the Japanese people and their culture.
The digital edition was officially inaugurated in Tokyo during an event held at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ). It coincided with the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito, and was attended by senior officials of both governments, including former Defense Minister Taro Kono, Tokyo Gov. Koike Yuriko and Saudi Minister of Commerce Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi.