Azer­bai­jan, Ja­pan hail good level of re­la­tions

Azer News - - Nation - By Kamila Aliyeva

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.

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