Early this year, representatives from the Japanese Petroleum Export Company (JAPEX) visited Tripoli, the Libyan capital, and met with officials of the National Oil Corporation (NOC).[1] The consortium had just concluded a study about developing a concession in the Sirte basin.

The Japanese delegation’s visit came in the midst of longstanding internal turmoil in Libya. For nearly six years, Libya has been divided into two governments, an internationally recognized one in the west and a rival in the east. In April 2019, Khalifa Haftar, a renegade military commander closely linked to the eastern government had launched an assault on the capital, Tripoli, sparking the latest phase of Libya’s civil war. A German-sponsored peace conference held in January 2020 had promised to formalize a previous ceasefire backed by Russia and Turkey, but neither of Libya’s warring sides have upheld it, nor have their powerful external backers.[2] Oil production has rapidly declined as powerful tribes acting on behalf of Haftar’s forces blockaded eastern oil terminals starting in January.

It was hardly the first time Japan had made a foray into Libya — which has the world’s ninth largest oil reserves — during difficult times. In fact, the story of Japan’s relationship with Libya, which Tokyo often maintained even as other countries were shunning former Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qadhafi as a pariah, predates the latest outreach by many decades. Our account provides a fascinating window into Japanese diplomacy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) more broadly. More specifically, the story of Japan-Libya relations shows how Tokyo often pursued its own interests in the MENA region despite the preferences of the United States, with which Japan has a longstanding security alliance. This story also provides insight into how certain members of Japan’s conservative foreign policy establishment referenced anti-colonialism in their encounters with Arab leaders. Here, in turn, we can observe the outsized role played by individuals and associations oustide government who influenced Japan’s foreign policy toward the MENA region.

Japan, the Middle East, and the Japan-US Alliance

Japan’s relationship with the Middle East and North Africa is often described in terms of balancing energy dependence against the imperative of maintaining a strong security alliance with the United States.[3]

In general, Japan has followed the American policy line in MENA selectively, when it has served Tokyo’s interests.[4] When Tokyo has chosen to engage Washington’s enemies in the region, the United States sometimes tolerated Japan’s MENA diplomacy as a function of Japan’s energy needs. At other times, Washington was not fully aware of the nature and extent of Japan’s engagement in the MENA region. At the same time, Washington also did not hesitate to rebuke Tokyo when red lines were crossed.[5]  

When Japan reached out to Libya and other states in the MENA region in the post-colonial era, it did not seek to leverage its strong security ties with the United States, nor did it reflexively support US interests in the region. Rather than being entirely non-ideological and pragmatic, Tokyo’s overtures to regimes in the region were often embedded in a particularly Japanese discourse that was well received in regional capitals.[6]

With anti-colonial ideologies such as pan-Arabism on the march across the region in the 1950s-1970s, some Japanese delegations visiting Arab capitals distinguished themselves from both Americans and Europeans by emphasizing Japan’s own anti-Western credentials. This framing was more than just window dressing. Critically, such appeals allowed Japan to establish deeper relationships and cultivate stronger business ties than otherwise would have been possible if Japan was perceived solely as a merchant state vassal of the United States.

The use of non-government proxy organizations, industry groups, and prominent individuals outside the government contributed to Japan’s ability to maneuver outside of US policy preferences in MENA. For example, groups such as the Japanese-Palestinian Friendship Organization recruited members of the Diet while promoting the PLO’s importance in the region and the need to strengthen Japan’s political links with the Palestinians. Tokyo also invited Palestinian representatives to visit Japan, but stopped short of recognizing the PLO formally at fear of offending Washington.[7]

The Roots of Japan’s MENA Diplomacy

Tokyo’s early diplomatic outreach to the MENA region was championed by postwar conservative elites who came of age during the era of Japanese militarism and colonial expansion. How these conservative elites understood Japan’s role in the world was most explicitly articulated by Takeyo Nakatani, a leading prewar right-wing figure who also played a major role in the Greater Asian Association.[8] This association provided the “pan-Asian” ideological basis for Japan’s conquest of East and Southeast Asia in the first half of the twentieth century by presenting Japan as the liberator of peoples living under the yoke of Western imperial powers.[9]

A tribute written by the Egyptian ambassador to Tokyo about Takeo Nakatani.
A tribute written by the Egyptian ambassador to Tokyo about Takeo Nakatani

 

Nakatani maintained close ties with prominent conservatives after the war, some of whom were later rehabilitated and assumed prominent roles in the governance of postwar Japan.[10] Despite being banned from holding formal political office during the US occupation of Japan, Nakatani was an active member of Japan’s postwar elite circles.[11] Among other relationships, he remained close to Nobusuke Kishi,[12] Japan’s Prime Minister from 1957-1960. (Kishi, in turn, happens to be the maternal grandfather of current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe). Nakatani was also known to Yasuhiro Nakasone,[13] who served as Japan’s Prime Minister from 1982-1987.

After the Second World War, at face value Japan’s wartime ideologies were a discredited and spent ideological force. Nakatani nevertheless returned to the cause of pan-Asianism in a new way, dedicating himself to Afro-Arab-Asian solidarity.[14] In 1958, he founded the Japan Arab Association, which supported the pan-Arab cause of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and other emergent Arab nationalist leaders. In the eyes of Nakatani, newly-empowered Arab leaders like Nassar were engaged in the noble task of throwing off the yoke of western domination. By contrast, Nakatani saw monarchies in the region as sclerotic, ideologically bankrupt, and corrupt.[15]

As one of Japan’s leading promoters of Japan-Arab relations with close connections to the political elite, Nakatani helped shape how the next generation of Japan’s Middle East hands — among them, former defense minister and current Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike — would experience the region.[16] Not only did he organize numerous seminars and symposia on the Arab world in Tokyo, Nakatani also enthusiastically touted a revisionist take on Japan’s role in the Second World War that cast the country in the heroic role of liberator of peoples of color from Southeast Asia to the Middle East and Africa.

In his book on Arab-Japan relations published in 1983, Nakatani maintained that “as a result of World War II, Asian nations were able to achieve independence. This was through Japan’s sacrifice in defeat in World War II”.[17] Describing his role following World War II, Nakatani writes that he: “promoted the completion of independence for about 120 milllion Arabs who lived in the Middle East and North Africa, through cooperation with and modernization of the independent Arab nations.”[18]

The imprint of prewar networks on Japan’s conservative postwar establishment was deep. When Nakatani, along with prewar associates and fellow pan-Asianists, Yasaburo Shimonaka and Yasuhiro Nakasone, were sent by Prime Minister Kishi to newly-independent states in the Middle East in 1957,[19] Nakatani expressed regret that others such as Shumei Okawa (who was prosecuted at the Tokyo Tribunal but moved to a military hospital following a determination of insanity) and Ikka Kita (a promoter of pan-Asianism who was executed for being implicated in a foiled coup in 1937) and Kametaro Mitsukawa (a fellow pan-asianist who died in 1936) could not join the delegation.[20]

The Beginnings of Japan-Libya Relations 

Following the Kingdom of Libya’s independence in 1951, there was little interest in or knowledge of the far flung North African country in Japan. Libya was not among the countries visited by Japan’s first official postwar economic mission to the region in 1953;[21] and Tokyo did not establish diplomatic relations with Tripoli until 1957, nor establish an Embassy until 1973.

In the early 1970s, Japan began to take a greater interest in Libya. At the time, Libya was of particular interest because of Japan’s growing appetite for oil, and because Libyan crude was believed to be low in sulfur-content and therefore much cleaner than alternatives.

Just as Japan was looking to Libya, major political changes were underway in the country. In 1969, inspired by other “Free Officer” military-led revolts in the Arab world, a young army officer named Muammar Qadhafi and a small group of fellow officers seized power from the weak Libyan monarch. Their ideology was explicitly pan-Arabist, and among their aims was to take back control of Libya’s massive oil resources from Western domination.[22]  

In 1971, a group of Japanese business representatives, foreign ministry officials, and trade representatives departed from Cairo, where they attended the Aswan High Dam completion ceremonies, for the first visit of Japanese delegation to Qadhafi’s Libya.[23] Among them was none other than Takeyo Nakatani, who helped organize the five country tour of the Middle East and North Africa under the auspices of the Japan-Arab Association. Nakatani later described nervousness among Japanese officials since, at the time of their visit, Japan had no embassy in Libya, and the delegation was not sure what they could expect upon their arrival to Tripoli. Indeed, they could only rely on two Japanese trade representatives in Tripoli to plan their program.

In Tripoli, the Japanese delegation was welcomed by a number of high-ranking Libyan officials who escorted their guests to a hotel that, to the delight of the Japanese delegation, displayed a home-made Japanese flag.[24] The morning after their arrival, the Japanese delegation was received by Deputy Prime Minister Abdessalam Jalloud, Qadhafi’s right-hand man at the time who held multiple ministerial portfolios.

Jalloud pleased his guests by telling them he was familiar with Japan’s Meiji Restoration and that he sought to apply lessons learned from Japan’s state-building process to Libya. Jalloud also pointed out that Libya, like Japan, suffered greatly during the Second World War. Japan’s “heroic” economic recovery thus offered many lessons for Libya while creating opportunities for bilateral technological and economic cooperation.[25]

Nakatani and his colleagues felt there was no reason why Japan should be anxious about the political situation in the country despite Qadhafi’s hostility towards the West. Moreover, Nakatani recalled that he was “struck by the fact [Qaddafi’s government] had gained the trust and support of the nation.” He pointed out that carried out “nationalist revolutions” were in fact quite stable.[26]

Nakatani evidently still viewed the world in prewar Japanese pan-Asian colonial terms, which created a natural affinity between his worldview and Qadhafi’s pan-Arab ideology. Like Qadhafi, he saw Libya and other Arab states  at risk of economic exploitation by the West. Nakatani further believed that Japan was at the vanguard of anti-colonialism, and sought to impress upon his Libyan hosts that cooperation with Japan could be achieved on better terms. After his death, Nakatani’s efforts were recognized by Arab dignitaries, who hailed his work to advance the pan-Arab cause after his death in 1990.[27]

Nakatani was an early mentor to a young Japanese woman named Yuriko Koike, while Koike’s father was a donor to Nakatani’s Japan-Arab Association.[28] It was not long after Nakatani’s 1971 trip to Libya that Koike, a fluent Arabic speaker who studied in Cairo and would later serve as Minister of Defense before being elected Governor of Tokyo in 2016, made her own first trip to Libya. Koike later recalled that the visit took place just three years after the 1969 revolution. She reported that she found Libya to be a very “lively” place.[29] In February 1973, Koike acted as an interpreter for a Japanese trading company delegation’s talks with Libya’s National Oil Company. Fortunately for Koike, the talks dragged on and she had to cancel her original return ticket to Cairo, which was scheduled to depart on February 21, 1973. That flight would be shot down by the Israeli air force for having entered Israel’s airspace over what was then the occupied Sinai. Koike thus credited her slow negotiating Libyan counterparts with saving her from boarding that flight.[30]

In 1978, Koike, now working as an interpreter and television producer, would meet Qadhafi for the first time in a Benghazi barracks to conduct an interview with the Libyan leader. However, Koike found in Qaddafi a very different kind of leader than the one described in glowing terms by her mentor. Koike pointed out that by this time Libya had become a police state in which no criticism was tolerated.[31] 

Yuriko Koike, then-head of the Japan-Libya Friendship Association meets with Qadhafi in Libya in 1979
Yuriko Koike, then-head of the Japan-Libya Friendship Association, and Qadhafi

 

However, despite the growing repression described by Koike in Libya, on September 1, 1978 (the ninth anniversary of Qadhafi’s revolution), Tokyo signaled the importance it attached to cultivating closer ties with Tripoli by establishing the Japan-Libya Friendship Association. While one could be forgiven for thinking this was a civil society initiative, in fact it was headed by former foreign minister and former Chief Cabinet Secretary to Prime Minister Eisaku Sato, Toshio Kimura. The association’s board also included representatives from leading firms in Japan’s corporate world.[32] In November 1979, Kimura led a friendship association delegation to Tripoli and met with Qadhafi to assess prospects for deepening economic ties between Libya and Japan.[33]

 

Japan-Libya Relations in the 1980s and 1990s

By the early 1980s, Japan’s outreach to Libya appeared to show signs of paying off in terms of new business deals for Japanese companies. In December 1980 Kobe Steel won a tender worth 160 billion yen to build a steel-making plant in Misrata. This was followed by an order in February 1981 for 10 billion yen worth of additional equipment.[34] Kobe Steel contracted Japanese firms Itochu and Nakanogumi to assist in constructing the new factory. By the end of the decade Misrata Steel Works had become one of the region’s leading steel producers, with a production capacity of 1.32 million tons of liquid steel per year.[35] Although Libya relied on iron ore imports from Brazil, the steel produced in Misrata was of high enough quality to be exported to Libya’s neighbors, Egypt and Tunisia, and also as far afield as Europe and the Persian Gulf.

Kobe Steel
Japanese engineer working at the Misrata Steelworks built by Kobe Steel in the 1980s

 

With the Kobe Steel project in Misrata, an increasing number of Japanese engineers, businesspeople, and politicians began to travel to Libya. In 1985, another Japanese delegation was dispatched to Libya to attend the 1969 revolution’s 16th anniversary ceremony in Sabha again under the auspices of the Japan-Libya Friendship Association. While this was not a formal delegation from the Foreign Ministry — which might have raised Washington’s eyebrows given by then deteriorating relations between Qadhafi and the United States — much like Kimura’s visit in 1979, the 1985 delegation also included influential political personalities, albeit with no formal government positions.

Another figure played an important role in the development of Japan-Libya ties in the 1980s. Koji Kakizawa, a rising star in Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), who would become Japan’s foreign minister in 1994, visited Libya twice. Kakizawa was part of the parliamentary delegation that traveled to the country under the auspices of the Japan-Libya Friendship Association in 1985. He returned to Tripoli in 1986 to meet with Qadhafi shortly after the US airstrikes (see below) and to confirm the safety of Libya’s 600-strong Japanese community. Kakizawa would later write about his meeting with Qadhafi in an edited volume published by the Japan-Libya Friendship Association in 1990, in which he, along with other contributors to the volume, expressed a largely uncritical view of Qadhafi.[36]

Japan was thus pursuing closer relations with Tripoli at a time when Qadhafi was seen as a pariah in Washington owing to his support for international terrorism. By the 1980s, Qadhafi had taken his revolutionary ideology overseas, supporting paramilitary groups such as the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). On April 5, 1986, Libyan agents detonated a bomb at a discotheque in West Berlin frequented by US soldiers stationed in Germany. The bomb killed two American soldiers and a Turkish woman and injured 229 others, some of whom lost limbs and were permanently disabled.That same month, the Reagan administration responded by bombing targets in Libya, including Qadhafi’s compound in Tripoli.

However, Qadhafi’s continuing recklessness in the late 1980s only brought further international isolation, and made it increasingly difficult for Japan to continue its engagement with Libya. The final straw was the downing of a civilian airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 by Libyan agents.

In 1992, the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on Libya in response to Libya’s involvement in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988, which killed 270 people. Japan, also a strong supporter of international institutions, complied strictly with the terms of the sanctions. Yet, even then, the diplomatic engagement did not stop: Kakizawa, who was by this point Japan’s foreign minister visited Tripoli twice, in 1998 and 1999.[37] Nevertheless, Japan’s close compliance with the sanctions outraged Qadhafi, who expected pan-Asian and pan-African solidarity to hold greater cache in Tokyo. The Libyan dictator, in fact, was deeply disgruntled that Japan observed the sanctions much more strictly than some European countries.[38]

The 2005 Breakthrough

By 1999, UN sanctions were suspended after Libya turned over two suspects in the Lockerbie case. Japan rushed to upgrade relations with Tripoli even as the United States kept its sanctions in place for several more years. In May 1999, Tokyo sent Kishiro Amae, director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, became the highest-level Japanese government official to visit Libya since the UN sanctions were imposed. Amae visited Tripoli to try and assuage strong dissatisfaction among Libyan officials about what they viewed as a Japanese lack of interest in Libya. Late in 1999, Tokyo appointed an ambassador to Tripoli, where the Japanese mission had operated with a skeletal staff throughout the 1990s.[39] 

Then, in 2003, US rapprochement with the Qadhafi regime opened up new possibilities for Japanese diplomacy and industry, signaling that Libya was now open for business. In April 2005, Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, the former Libyan dictator’s son and heir-apparent, embarked on a six-day visit to Japan to seek investment and technical assistance, meeting with then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and other top officials.[40] Saif also opened an art exhibition in Tokyo — largely financed by Japanese oil companies — that included archaeological artifacts from Libya and Saif’s own paintings. Yuriko Koike, then the environment minister, was among the attendees at the exhibition’s opening. Saif also visited the Aichi Expo, which featured a Libyan pavilion. Not long afterward, in June 2005, Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Ichiro Aisawa traveled to Tripoli and met with Qadhafi himself, inviting the Libyan leader to visit Japan in the future.[41]

All of these efforts bore fruit in October 2005, when Japanese companies were for the first time awarded the rights to develop Libyan oil fields. Nippon Oil, Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan Petroleum Exploration, Teikoku Oil and Inpex Oil were all awarded contracts. It was in fact the first time that Libya permitted its oil to go to an Asian country, and Japan beat out its competitor, China, in the bidding war.[42]

Japan-Libya Relations after the 2011 Revolution

In February 2011, when Libyan protesters took to the streets to demand Qadhafi’s exit from power, Japan was faced with a dilemma. For decades, Japan’s view of Middle East politics — perhaps even more so than Washington’s — had been framed by a conservative understanding of the region’s politics that saw Arab dictators as guarantors of domestic stability. However, with Ben Ali’s ouster in Tunisia and Mubarak’s fall in Cairo, the writing was on the wall. Despite Tokyo’s embrace of Qadhafi a decade earlier, in summer 2011 Japan recognized Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) on the same day as the United States.[43] Yuriko Koike, who was now president of the Japan-Libya Friendship Association, was among the strong advocates of the NTC in Tokyo.

After Qadhafi’s demise in September 2011, Japan ramped up its engagement. From 2012 to 2013, there were four ministerial visits from Libya to Japan.[44] Despite an initial enthusiasm in Tokyo to play a role in Libya’s post-Qadhafi reconstruction and development, growing violence and the outbreak of civil war brought these efforts to a halt. In August 2019, the foreign minister of the internationally-recognized Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), Mohamed Siala, visited Tokyo to take part in a regional development conference in Yokohama.

In general, however, Japan’s traditional approach to Libya faces serious constraints in the country’s current, chaotic environment. Consequently, Tokyo’s engagement on Libya has been muted in recent years compared to the enthusiasm of previous decades. The diplomatic tools that had helped Japan build relationships in Libya in earlier decades became less useful in the face of a fractured country and civil war. Koike, who previously penned op-eds and gave media interviews in support of the NTC, has been much quieter about Libya since becoming governor of Tokyo in 2016 (and is rumored to have prime ministerial ambitions). At the same time, Koike has sought to deepen ties between Japan’s capital and other parts of the Arab world, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), both of which support Haftar in the ongoing civil war. 

Washington, meanwhile, has been reticent to involve itself deeply in Libya, while the Trump administration has sent mixed signals about which of Libya’s warring sides it supports. The European Union has barely mustered a unified position on the Libyan conflict. The fact that the West itself has been disengaged and divided when it comes to Libya makes it even more difficult for Japan to exercise any diplomatic influence.

Conclusions

The story of Japan’s relations with Libya provides a window into how Japan has successfully cultivated ties with countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Relationship-building coupled with reassurances that Japan is interested in more than just oil has been a central element of Japan’s approach to the region since the days of Nakatani’s visits to Arab capitals. Such relationship-building — carried out over many years, often by individuals with no formal government positions working closely with “friendship associations” and industry groups — flew under the diplomatic radar of high international politics, but has nonetheless yielded significant payoffs. Moreover, Japan’s diplomatic approach was not divorced from its particular history and foreign policy identity, which itself is in part a product of elites socialized in the prewar years. These elites drew on Japan’s history and uniquely Japanese views of the world to connect with regimes in the region and assure them that Tokyo’s interests went beyond just access to oil. As current defense minister and former foreign minister Taro Kono said in a speech to the first-ever Japan-Arab dialogue in 2017, Japan focuses on “patience and persistence” in its Middle East diplomacy. Kono added: “Once we sow a seed, we do not rush. But we also do not stop. We move ahead step by step in a steady manner until harvesting fruit. This endurance with long-term foresights is Japan’s strength.”[45]

 


[1] Carla Sertin, “Japanese consortium completes study to develop Libya's Sirte Basin concession 47,” Oil and Gas, February 2, 2020. https://www.oilandgasmiddleeast.com/drilling-production/35951-japanese-consortium-completes-study-to-develop-libyas-sirte-basin-concession-47.
 

[2] David D. Kirkpatrick, “Cease-Fire in Libya Collapses Despite International Efforts,” New York Times, January 27, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/27/world/africa/libya-cease-fire-collapses.html.
 

[3] Yukiko Miyagi, Japan’s Middle East Security Policy: Theory and Cases (New York: Routledge, 2013).
 

[4] Raquel Shaoul, “Japanese Foreign Policy toward the Middle East 1973 to 1990: the Non-Commitment Policy,” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, September 28, 2005, https://apjjf.org/-Raquel-Shaoul/1573/article.html.
 

[5] William Nester and Kweku Ampiah, “Japan’s Oil Diplomacy: Tatemae and Honne,” Third World Quarterly 11, 1 (1989): 72-88.
 

[6] When Diet member Yasuhiro Nakasone (and future prime minister) met with Egyptian President Nassar in 1957, Nakasone expressed support for Nassar’s nationalization of the Suez Canal and emphasized Japan’s support for self-determination, anti-colonialism and international democracy. Yasuhiro Nakasone, translated and annotated by Lesley Connors, The Making of the New Japan: Reclaiming the Political Mainstream (New York: Routledge, 1999) 114-115.
 

[7] Shaoul, “Japanese Foreign Policy.”
 

[8] Torsten Weber, “The Greater Asia Association and Matsui Iwane, 1933,” in Sven Saaler and Christopher W. A. Szpilman (eds.), Pan-Asianism: A Document History, Volume 2: 1920 - present (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2011): 137-140.
 

[9] Takeyo Nakatani, Shōwa dōranki no kaisō ― Nakatani Takeyo kaikoroku (Tokyo: Tairyusha, 1989) 728-729.
 

[10] Tamon Highashinakano, “Kishi Nobusuke to gokoku doshikai,” Shigaku Zasshi 108, 9 (1999): 1619-1638.
 

[11] Norimatsu Suguru, “Kishi Nobusuke no tonanajia to supotsu - probokusingu ‘toyo chanpion kanibaru o chushin ni-, spotsu shakai-gaku kenkyu, 28, 1 (2010): 88.

[12] Nozomi Yamaguchi, “Kokka shugisha ni yoru `heiwa kenpō no seitei ni itaru shisō-teki soji”: Nakatani Takeyo to kenpo 9-jo,” Alter Magazine (2015), https://www.alter-magazine.jp/index.php?国家主義者による平和憲法の制定に至る思想的素地.
 

[13]  Nozomi Yamaguchi, “Kokka shugisha,” 2015. Also see, Yasuhiro Nakasone, translated and annotated by Lesley Connors, The Making of the New Japan: Reclaiming the Political Mainstream (New York: Routledge, 1999) 114-115.
 

[14] Nakatani,Shōwa dōranki (1989) 728.
 

[15] See, for example, Nakatani’s description of his visit to Baghdad under King Faisal II. Nakatani, Arabu to Nihon (Tokyo: Hara Shobō, 1983) 31-34.
 

[16] Eiji Oshita, Chōsen Koike Yuriko den (Tokyo: Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2016).
 

[17] Nakatani, Arabu to Nihon, ii.
 

[18] Ibid.
 

[19] Nakasone, The Making of the New Japan, 114.
 

[20] Nakatani, Arabu to Nihon, Iii.
 

[21] Hiroshi Shimizu, “The Japanese Trade Contact with the Middle East: Lessons from the Pre-Oil Period,” in J.A. Allen and Kaoru Sugihara (eds.), Japan and the Contemporary Middle East (New York: Routledge, 2005): 42.
 

[22] Dirk Vandewalle (ed.), Libya Since 1969: Qadhafi's Revolution Revisited (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2008).
 

[23] Nakatani, Arabu to Nihon, 202-206. A full list of members of the delegation can be found on page 200.
 

[24] Ibid., 202.
 

[25] Nakatani, Arabu to Nihon, p. 203.
 

[26] Ibid. 
 

[27] These included the Director of the League of Arab States, Hikmet Soleman, and Egypt’s Ambassador to Japan, Wahib El-Miawy, among others.
 

[28] Oshita, Chōsen Koike Yuriko den, 2016.
 

[29] Yuriko Koike and Yoshiki Hatanaka, Minami Chichūkai no shinsei ribia ― takamaru nihone no kitai (Tokyo: Doyukan, 2009) 224.
 

[30] Koike and Hatanaka, Minami Chichūkai no shinsei ribia, 224-225.
 

[31] Yuriko Koike, “Koike Yuriko ga mita Kadafi seiken tōkai no ichibushijū,President, October 3, 2011, https://president.jp/articles/-/4946.
 

[32] Japan-Libya Friendship Association, http://www.jlfa.gr.jp/association_2.html.
 

[33] Koike and Hatanaka, Minami Chichūkai no shinsei ribia, 214.
 

[35] Yuji Nagaoka, “Saikin no ribia jijo zaidanhoujin,” Middle East Research Institute, Tokyo, 2003, https://oilgas-info.jogmec.go.jp/_res/projects/default_project/_project_/pdf/0/511/200305_001a.pdf.
 

[36] Bokuro Eguchi and Yuzo Itagaki (eds.), Kokansuru ribia - chuto to nihon o musubu (Tokyo, Fuijwara Shoten, 1990).
 

[37] Michael Penn, “The Roots of the Japanese Oil Victory in Libya,” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, October 12, 2005, https://apjjf.org/-Michael-Penn/1771/article.html.
 

[38] Hisane Masaki, “Japan to tighten ties with Libya, send ambassador,” The Japan Times, September 30, 1999, https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/1999/09/30/national/japan-to-tighten-ties-with-libya-send-ambassador/#.Xr3N2m57mu4.
 

[39] Ibid.
 

[40] “Najl al-Qadhafi yatlb d’aaman yabaniyan litahdeeth iqtisad libiya,” Al Jazeera, April 4, 2005, https://www.aljazeera.net/news/ebusiness/2005/4/5.
 

[41] Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan-Libya Relations Archives, https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/africa/libya/archives.html.  
 

[42] “Asian, European firms dominate Libya’s Round 2,” Oil and Gas Journal, October 24, 2005. https://www.ogj.com/exploration-development/reserves/article/17236597/asian-european-firms-dominate-libyas-round-2.
 

[43] Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan-Libya Relations Archives.
 

[44] Ibid.
 

[45] Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Speech by Foreign Minister Kono at the first-ever Japan-Arab Political dialogue, September 12, 2017, https://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000288921.pdf.