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Japan's Abe, Saudi king see eye to eye on Vision 2030

Joint projects, deregulated zones to help kingdom shake oil dependency

Saudi Arabia's King Salman, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Saudi Arabia's King Salman agreed on Monday to advance a new economic collaboration program, as the Middle Eastern country endeavors to diversify beyond oil.

Japan will offer extensive support in infrastructure development, renewable energy, health care and other fields. The two governments will also explore setting up special economic zones in Saudi Arabia, with tax breaks and looser regulations that could benefit Japanese companies. Saudi Arabia will look at relaxing visa requirements for Japanese nationals, too.

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