Japan is an economic power of global significance; it is also the world's largest single national importer of oil. These two facts alone are sufficient to indicate the significance of Japan's relationship with the Middle East. But in fact, Japan's particularly strong interests in the Middle East extend well beyond oil, and include banking, investment, and an increasing concern with economic assistance.The studies in this book deal with the relevant period of the twentieth century and especially with the rapid transformation of Japan's relationship with the region since 1973. It provides access in English to the current economic and political analysis by Japanese specialists concerned with the Middle East, and it will assist anyone interested in Japan's relationship with the region. The dependence of Japan on Middle Eastern oil is examined together with the changing nature of Japan's energy consumption policies at home, and its involvement in joint ventures in the Middle East. Japan's role as a major provider of economic assistance is reviewed, and its future potential role in this area is emphasised.