Japan FM plans to visit Iran

August 10, 2021 - 21:45

TEHRAN-- Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi plans to pay an official visit to Iran in the coming weeks, Turkey and other countries in the West Asia region from Sunday onwards.

Regional security and response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be on the agenda of Motegi’s talks.

Motegi said he will tour Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, and Qatar from August 15-24.

"The peace and stability of the Middle East (West Asia) region are extremely important for the international community including Japan," he told a news conference in the capital Tokyo broadcast online.

"During this visit, I will once again underscore Japan's commitment to the Middle East (West Asia) by our long years of contribution to peace and prosperity of the region and by forging robust relations."

Japan’s chief diplomat said he will have a "frank exchange" of opinions on the regional situation and "work closely with" regional countries "to promote the stability of the region."

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the Japanese foreign minister's visit to Tehran has been on the agenda for several months and will take place “as soon as the details are finalized.”

Iran's embassy in Tokyo tweeted on Tuesday that the Japanese foreign minister’s trip can help enhance mutual relations.

The visit “could open a new chapter in deepening and expanding bilateral relations,” the embassy said. 

It added, “Close consultations between the two countries on important regional and international issues will provide an opportunity to exchange views on issues of mutual interest.” 

The visit will take place as a new government has taken the helm in Iran. 

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Foreign Minister Taro Kono visited Iran in June 2019.

Citing diplomatic sources, The Japan Times reported last month that Motegi “is planning to visit Iran to build ties with its new government” led by President Ebrahim Raisi.

“Motegi is expected to meet his Iranian counterpart, possibly in mid-August, as Japan aims to strengthen its traditionally friendly ties with Iran and discuss issues related to Tehran’s nuclear program,” the report said, according to Press TV.

Japan’s official NHK network also reported that Motegi would sit down for talks with his Iranian counterpart as well as other high-ranking officials of the new administration to be formed by Raisi.

The report predicted that the top Japanese diplomat would announce Tokyo’s readiness to strengthen traditional friendship between the two sides during the trip.

It said Motegi and the Iranian authorities would likely discuss a resumption of the negotiations on a potential revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – JCPOA -- which the United States, a close Tokyo ally, has abandoned in defiance of international law.


SA/PA

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