The Al Jazeera Centre for Studies (AJCS) and Doshisha University in Japan organised a joint seminar in Kyoto recently to discuss a number of dynamics in the Middle East and Gulf regions.
The one-day event, which gathered a number of Arab and Japanese researchers, focused on current political developments such as the “Deal of the Century” and the recent shifts in energy, both oil and natural gas, the AJCS said in a statement.
The participants examined the impact of the “deal” on the region “in the context of the dilemma of the Palestinian cause and the future of the two-state solution”, the statement noted.
They also addressed the emerging new crisis in relations between the US and Iran after Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal some 14 months ago, and the ramifications of this tension on energy security, while the Gulf countries provide most of Japan’s energy needs.
Another theme discussed at the seminar was China’s and Japan’s relations with the Middle East and Africa.
The seminar panellists proposed a comparative vision of the two countries’ policies towards the two regions, in terms of the economy, investments and diplomatic relations.
As a second wave of the 2011 Arab uprisings, recent protests in Sudan and Algeria were also debated in the seminar, notably the rise and demands of popular movements, military-civilian relations and the contested political legitimacy.
The case of Libya, as divided by two power centres in Tripoli and Tubrouk, was also discussed as a case of armed escalation and complexity induced by foreign intervention.
The final panel was devoted to ongoing dynamics in the Middle East in light of the US foreign policy and the trajectory of Arab uprisings in the medium and long terms.