King Salman and hundreds of business leaders from Saudi Arabia began talks in Japan Monday mainly expected to focus on economic ties.
The visit is the first by a Saudi king in 46 years, though Salman visited more recently as crown prince.
Saudi Arabia is one of Japan's biggest suppliers of crude oil, accounting for about a third of its total imports of oil from the Middle East.
The kingdom is striving to diversify its economy away from its heavy reliance on oil exports, and Salman is on a month-long tour of Asia to advance his kingdom's economic and business interests.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Monday that Japan is willing to provide support for the economic power in the Middle East.
"We will discuss growth strategy, including our 'Saudi Vision' project," he said, referring to Japanese collaboration with Vision 2030, a roadmap adopted by the kingdom last year for its development and economic objectives
He did not confirm reports that the countries would agree to set up a special economic zone in Saudi Arabia.
Salman met with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and was to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later Monday.
Reports say Japan plans to urge that Saudi Aramco, the state-run oil company that is being partially privatized, seek a share listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his British counterpart, Theresa May, agreed at a meeting in London on Friday that their countries will work together to promote free trade at a time when protectionist moves are growing in the world. (Jiji)
Despite the initial excitement among major financial institutions, the Bank of Japan's push for exchange-traded funds tracking companies that actively raise employee pay or invest in new equipment has run aground. (Nikkei)
The Bank of Japan wants financial institutions to lend more money under its large-scale monetary-easing policy. But it's worried that some regional banks are too eager to offer real estate loans, especially for building rental housing. (NHK)
Japan's financial institutions are paying less to borrow dollars as foreign-bond investment tapers off and banks lock down their own sources of the currency, correcting market distortions brought on by a severe shortage of greenbacks late last year. (Nikkei)
Japan's National Personnel Authority asked the government on Wednesday to reduce retirement allowances for national civil servants to levels roughly in line with those of private-sector workers. (Jiji)
Japan plans to push forward talks to put a Pacific rim trade pact into force without the United States, which withdrew from the multination agreement in January as President Donald Trump pursues bilateral trade deals, a government source said Saturday. (Japan Today)
The net inflow of foreign residents into Japan was the largest ever during the last statistical year, as the government pushes policies to attract foreign workers to lessen the economic repercussions from a declining and graying population. (Nikkei)