Kocharian Meets With Emperor of Japan

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenia’s President Robert Kocharian met with the Emperor of Japan Akahito on Thursday. As it was reported from the Armenian president’s press office–the meeting had a ceremonial nature.

Kocharian also met with the authorities of Foreign Trade Organization of Japan and Japan Bank of International Cooperation. Kocharian reached an agreement with JETRO to organize an exhibition of Armenian jewelry in Japan in 2002–and to open an information marketing center in Yerevan.

The Armenian delegation also visited the head office of Liberal-Democratic Party of Japan–where newly created parliamentarian group on Armenian-Japanese friendship was introduced. Thirty-five Japanese Parliamentarians are in the group.

Armenia Backs Japan Bid For UN Security Council Seat

Armenia voiced on Thursday support for Japan’s long-standing bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council–the foreign ministry in Yerevan said–reported Radio Free Europe.

Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian–who is accompanying President Robert Kocharian on an official trip to Japan–was quoted by his press service as conveying Yerevan’s position on the issue to his Japanese counterpart–Makiko Tanaka.

The two governmen’s agreed Wednesday to strengthen international cooperation in fighting terrorism and boost wide-ranging bilateral relations. Kocharian and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi signed a joint statement that commits the two countries to strengthening cooperation in fighting terrorism–striving for a total ban on nuclear tests and support for the non-proliferation of mass-destruction weapons.

Kocharian–the first Armenian head of state to visit Japan–was received on Thursday by Emperor Akihito. The meeting had a "ceremonial character," according to the presidential press office.

Kocharian–who hopes that his trip will spur Japanese investmen’s in the struggling Armenian economy–also met with the top executives of the Japanese External Trade Organization and the Japanese Bank of International Cooperation. He also visited the headquarters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and met with members of the newly formed Japanese parliamentary group that aims to promote relations with Armenia.

AFP quoted an unnamed government official in Tokyo as saying that the Armenian president urged Koizumi to continue aid to his country even if Tokyo plans to cut its official development assistance due to its financial constraint.

Kocharian and the Armenian delegation will visit the ancient capital of Japan–Kyoto on Friday.

Armenia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vartan Oskanian–who accompanied President Kocharian on his visit to Japan–met with his Japanese counterpart Tanaka on Thursday to sign two memoranda; one on the implementation of two Japanese-government supported grant projects to improve Armenia’s health care system–and one promoting cultural development in both countries.

Following the meeting–the two ministers discussed the possibilities of furthering economic ties between the two countries. The two men also discussed the developmen’s in the South Caucasus–including the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

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