Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi says his country is determined to expand friendly relations with Iran amid efforts to boost economic and energy cooperation between the two countries.
Yoshimasa told Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji in Tokyo on Wednesday that Japan places great importance on the relationship with Iran, a policy he said was the legacy of late former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
Owji has been in Japan to attend a state funeral held for Abe nearly three months after he was assassinated in a shooting attack in Nara, in central Japan. The Iranian minister has also held meetings with senior Japanese government officials and heads of leading energy firms in the country.
Japan’s foreign ministry said in a report about the meeting between Yoshimasa and Owji that the two officials had discussed efforts by global powers to revive a 2015 international deal on Iran’s nuclear program, which if restored, it could allow Iran to significantly increase its oil exports to countries like Japan.
Iran’s Oil Ministry’s public relations office said in a report that Owji had expressed hope in the meeting with Yoshimasa that Japanese energy companies would expand their presence in the Iranian oil and gas projects.
The minister said Iran has plans to attract some $160 billion worth of investment to its petroleum sector until 2029 as it seeks to increase its crude oil output to 5.7 million barrels per day and to raise natural gas production to 1.5 billion cubic meters per day, according to the report.
The report said that during the meeting Yoshimasa recounted his work some 40 years ago in Japan’s Mitsui Group where he had become familiar with the huge potentials of the Iranian oil and gas industry.
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