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Japan and its top trade partner in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates, agreed on Monday to expand economic, political and defense cooperation. Tokyo and Abu Dhabi also signed an investment protection agreement, capping off a two-day visit by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the oil-rich Gulf state.In February, Abu Dhabi's state energy company ADNOC said it had awarded Japan's INPEX a 10 percent stake in Lower Zakum offshore oil concession, in a 40-year deal worth $600 million.ADNOC also said it had extended INPEX's 40 percent stakes in Abu Dhabi's Satah and Umm Al-Dalkh concessions for another 25 years.In 2017, trade volume between the two countries increased 10.5 percent to $28 billion, with Japan's exports accounting for $7.2 billion – a drop of 10 percent from the previous year, according to official figures released by the Japanese Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
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