Japan is making arrangements to send Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to Iran in late October at the earliest and set up a joint committee between the countries to deal with energy and infrastructure development and other economic issues, Kyodo reported.
The same day, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Japan and Iran will begin three-day negotiations from Monday in Tehran to conclude a bilateral investment treaty, a move aimed at tapping into the commercial potential of the Iranian market for Japanese firms.
The moves by Japan come as the government plans to keep in step with the United States and Europe in lifting economic sanctions on Iran after an accord to diplomatically resolve Tehran’s nuclear program was reached in July, government officials said.
Japan is hoping that such measures would make it easier for more Japanese companies to operate in oil-rich Iran, with a population of around 78 million, and eventually lead to increased auto exports and participation in Iranian oil field development, the officials said.
“Iran has natural resources. We would like to take appropriate measures so as not to lag behind other countries,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s top government spokesman, said at a news conference.
The idea of sending Kishida to Iran is so he can hold a high-level meeting with his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in the hope of setting up a joint committee at the director general level to respectively discuss issues including finance, infrastructure-building and development of natural resources and energy, the sources said.