Azerbaijan, Japan hail good level of relations
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev held a meeting with the delegation led by Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono, who is on a two-day visit to Baku, on September 5.
During the meeting, both sides hailed a good level of relations between the two countries.
Saying he is glad to visit Azerbaijan, Taro Kono expressed hope that the bilateral ties will further develop.
It was noted that Japan's Itochu and INPEX companies have been shareholders in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) projects for many years. In this regard, the importance of the extension of the contract on the ACG until 2050 was highlighted.
The Japanese foreign minister expressed confidence that this cooperation will continue to expand. He said that Japan is interested in opening direct flights between the two countries, and stressed that it is essential for the development of relations in the field of tourism.
In turn, President Aliyev said that the agenda of the bilateral cooperation is quite extensive, adding that a large number of Japanese companies successfully operate in Azerbaijan as contractors and investors.
At the same time, he underlined the significance of determining the ways of further enhancing cooperation between the business communities of Azerbaijan and Japan.
Touching upon Azerbaijan`s tourism opportunities, Ilham Aliyev said that the number of tourists visiting the country is growing every year, and pointed out Azerbaijan`s high-level tourism infrastructure.
During the talks, the sides highlighted the importance of experience exchange in the area of personnel training, and noted the significance of promoting and protecting investments in terms of the expansion of economic cooperation. They also emphasized great potential for enhancing economic relations between the two countries in various fields, including agriculture, tourism and others.
Azerbaijan, Japan may launch direct flights, increase investments
Later on the same day, Taro Kono also met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov. Speaking at a joint press conference, which followed the meeting, Taro Kono said that Japan has decided to simplify the visa regime for Azerbaijani citizens.
Japan wants to strengthen multi-vector relations with Azerbaijan, he noted.
The Japanese minister expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) project in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, in which Japan's Itochu Corporation holds a 3.65 percent stake.
“This will give an even greater impetus to our cooperation,” Taro Kono added.
Speaking at the conference, Mammadyarov announced that a direct flight between Azerbaijan and Japan may be opened.
“The relations between the countries are at a high level. There are 30 Japanese companies operating in Azerbaijan and to this day Japan has invested about $ 7 billion in Azerbaijan, which mainly fall for the oil sector. During the meeting, issues of investment in various spheres of the economy were discussed. The number of tourists arriving from Japan to Azerbaijan is also growing. For the development of mutual tourist flow today, we also discussed the issue of launching a direct flight between Japan and Azerbaijan,” he added.
The Azerbaijani foreign minister said that Japanese companies are interested in participating in infrastructure projects in Azerbaijan, noting that Japan is showing great interest in the development of the North-South and East-West transport corridors.
One of the issues discussed at the meeting was the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan NagornoKarabakh conflict.
“Japan's position on this issue is clear. They believe that this conflict should find its solution in the near future,” Mammadyarov said.
Azerbaijan and Japan established diplomatic relations in 1992. Over the period of cooperation, more than 20 agreements in the humanitarian, economic and other spheres have been signed. The two countries have established inter-parliamentary friendship groups, as well as a joint intergovernmental commission.