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Iran, Japan long record of diplomatic ties, bright future

Beijing, Iran and Japan are to celebrate the 90th anniversary of their relations this year; analysts say that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Tehran will open a new chapter in the two countries political and diplomatic relations.

Abe is to visit Iran's highranking officials on June 12 14 to discuss numerous topics, including economic issues, investment, trade, culture, the most important regional issues, and political relations.

It is expected that he would have various suggestions regarding the issues of the Middle East and expansion of ties with Iran, and IranUS issues may be discussed as well. In any case, Iran will be a capable host for the prime minister of Japan, about which Iran has said it is of great importance in its foreign policy.

Head of the IranJapan parliamentary Friendship Group Fumio Kishida said earlier this year that amity between the two countries date back to the first years of the formation of the Silk Road in ancient times, but in 1929 a new chapter was opened and has been kept ever since.

Once Japan's foreign minister, Kishida said that the base of the long term relations of Tehran and Tokyo is peopletopeople contacts. Referring to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Japanese Prime Minister Abe's meetings, he said that when in office, he had visited Iran two times and talked with Iran's Foreign Minister MohammadJavad Zarif about expanding intercountry relations.

In the beginning of the year, Zarif lauded the 90th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Tokyo and hoped to them enhanced.

Statistically speaking, economic ties between Iran and Japan, especially in energy section, have lessened and reached zero due unilateral US sanctions. Abe is expected to discuss ways to expand relations in this field.

Due to the fact that Japan doesn't want to limit and depend itself to the oil from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, there is a lot of hope that Prime Minister Abe can win waivers from the US to be able to buy oil from Iran as well. Any complications in oil provision for Japan can result in a big loss for the third economic power in the world. Iran has sometimes provided 70% of the oil Japan needs.

Now, it is high time Japan used its old amicable ties with Iran and infused new energy into the veins of cooperation; continuation of export of Iran oil to Japan and investment and transfer of technology to Iran are among the proximity moves Japan can make.

Ever since the beginning in 1929, Iran and Japan's relations have been uncontaminated and are among the healthiest ones in the world. And after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, political, economic, cultural and diplomatic ties have grown up; the leaders of the two countries have tried to meet on the sidelines of international summit meetings, conferences and international conventions. Abe and Rouhani have eight times met on the sidelines of the UN annual meeting in New York.

However, this the first time a Japanese prime minister is visiting Tehran after the Islamic Revolution.

In the past two years, Speaker of Majlis (Iranian Parliament) Ali Larijani has led parliamentary missions to Tokyo and called for expansion of political, economic, parliamentarian and cultural ties with Japan.

Both sided also called for strengthened ties in oil, natural gas, petrochemical products, industry, and medicine as well.

Regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Japan openly supported the deal and expressed unhappiness with the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and criticized US unilateralism.

But because of being dependent on the US both in security and military, they followed the US to a large extent to sanction Iran.

Many criticize Abe for following the US lead and believe that Japan should not have done so. They say that Abe can safeguard both Japan's interests and ties with the US.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA

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