‘Japan seeks to remove obstacles to ties with Iran’

November 1, 2019

TEHRAN - Japan’s Ambassador to Tehran, Mitsugu Saito, has said that Japan seeks to remove obstacles to ties with Iran, expressing optimism over relations.

“There are obstacles to expansion of relations. These obstacles are complicated, however, they can be removed through vigilance. I am sure that the Iranian and Japanese people can solve problems by vigilance. So, I am optimist about the future of relations,” he told IRNA in an interview published by Friday.

He said that the Japanese corporations are interested in doing business with Iran.

“In his visit to Iran in June, Mr. Shinzo Abe [the Japanese prime minister] showed his determination to solve problems which are obstacle to expansion of relations,” he said.

Elsewhere, he expressed concerns over tension in the Persian Gulf region.

“Japan decided not to join the United States’ coalition, however, it will continue its initiative to ease tension. In line with this, we will consult and exchange views with regional players, especially Iran, and also the United States and Europe,” Ambassador Saito stated.

Abe visited Tehran on June 12 for a two-day visit.

President Hassan Rouhani met with Abe in New York in late September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

On August 30, Abe said that he plans to do everything he can to ease tension in the Middle East region.

“Peace and stability in the Middle East directly links to Japan’s national interest,” Reuters quoted Abe as saying in a news conference at the end of a three-day international conference on African development.

“I would like to work tenaciously, and play the best possible role to ease tensions in the Middle East,” he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also met with Abe in Yokohama, near Tokyo, on August 28.

According to Reuters, Zarif said that Iran is not seeking to increase tension but every country should be able to enjoy its rights under international law.

“As our president has said, we are not at all seeking heightened tensions,” Zarif said, speaking through a translator.

He said, “We believe every country should be able to enjoy its rights under international law.”

According to The Mainichi, Zarif said, “Iran welcomes the Japanese government’s role (in trying) to ease tensions in the Middle East.”

Abe said, “Japan will persistently continue our diplomatic efforts to deal with rising tensions in the Middle East and stabilize the current situation.”

NA/PA

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