Ja­pan, Iran to dis­cuss in­vest­ment pact af­ter sanc­tions end: Nikkei


Ja­pan and Iran will start ne­go­ti­a­tions on an in­vest­ment ac­cord once sanc­tions are lifted fol­low­ing last month's land­mark in­ter­na­tional deal on Tehran's nu­clear pro­gram, the Nikkei re­ported on Wed­nes­day, cit­ing Ja­panese gov­ern­ment sources.

Ini­tial talks are be­ing held be­tween the two coun­tries to pre­pare for the lift­ing of sanc­tions and be­gin for­mal ne­go­ti­a­tions, the busi­ness daily said, with­out iden­ti­fy­ing the sources. Ja­pan is keen to boost ties with Iran and in­vest in re­source projects in the coun­try, as well as re­turn im­ports of Ira­nian oil to about 10 per­cent of the to­tal from 5 per­cent now af­ter sanc­tions forced Ja­panese re­fin­ers to cut pur­chases, it said.

Ear­lier this month, Daishiro Ya­m­agiwa, vice-min­is­ter of Ja­pan's Min­istry of Econ­omy, Trade and In­dus­try (METI), vis­ited Tehran and met top gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, ac­com­pa­nied by ex­ec­u­tives from the oil, gas and other in­dus­tries.

Ya­m­agiwa did not dis­cuss an in­vest­ment agree­ment, Shige­toshi Ikeyama, a di­rec­tor in METI's Mid­dle East and Africa di­vi­sion, said when con­tacted by Reuters about the Nikkei re­port. "Know­ing that Ja­panese com­pa­nies are in­ter­ested in boost­ing eco­nomic ties in fu­ture, state min­is­ter Ya­m­agiwa had gen­eral dis­cus­sions on stream­lin­ing the en­vi­ron­ment for that, but did not dis­cuss an in­vest­ment pact in par­tic­u­lar," Ikeyama said, adding that the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs would take the lead on any dis­cus­sions on spe­cific agree­ments. "Another rea­son for Ya­m­agiwa's visit was to avoid be­ing beaten by Euro­pean and U.S. com­pa­nies," Ikeyama said.

Of­fi­cials at the for­eign min­istry were not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment. In­pex Corp (1605.T), Ja­pan's big­gest energy ex­plorer, JGC Corp (1963.T), an en­gi­neer­ing com­pany, and trad­ing houses Mit­subishi Corp (8058.T), Mit­sui & Co (8031.T) and Itochu Corp (8001.T) joined Ya­m­agiwa on the visit, the Nikkei said.

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