Japan Armenia Agree to Boost Ties

TOKYO (Kyodo–Noyan Tapan)–Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian signed a joint communiqu Tuesday agreeing to beef up bilateral relations through regular dialogue.

The communiqu was issued after talks in Tokyo lasting 35 minutes. The two ministers said they "recognize that the existing friendly relationship…has entered a new stage with further possibilities for both countries to enhance their relations and to cooperate in various fields."

Komura and Oskanian "intend to enhance political dialogue between the two ministries through regular consultations at appropriate levels on issues of bilateral and international relations."

The two ministers took into account "the recent progress of political and economic reforms" in Armenia.

A Japanese official who briefed reporters said Komura told Oskanian that Japan attaches importance on strengthening ties with Armenia and other nations in the Caucasus region as a "corridor linking Asia and Europe under its active Silk Road diplomacy."

Komura conveyed Japan’s commitment to provide economic assistance while promising to "positively" consider extending gran’s-in-aid to Armenia for improving its national medical center–the official said.

A Japanese mission is now visiting Armenia to finalize the gran’s. Japan has already offered yen-denominated soft loans and cultural gran’s to the nation.

Oskanian thanked Japan for its economic assistance–which it called "very essential" for the Caucasus region. But he stressed the importance of promoting "balanced" development of the region’s three nations – Armenia–Azerbaijan and Georgia – because of lingering ethnic conflicts and inequality of national resources–the official said.

Oskanian told Komura that his nation remains committed to peacefully resolving problems in the region through dialogue.

In Tokyo the official delegation was joined by a delegation of Armenian businessmen and manufacturers.

Oskanian met with Rotobo Co. President Miadzaki and then with Sumitomo Co. consultant Edamura. The parties discussed the establishment of a Japanese-Armenian economic committee and ways to improve Japan-Armenia bilateral relations. The meetings were followed by a reception given in honor of the Armenian minister and attended by numerous representatives of Japan’s largest companies.

On August 30–Minister Oskanian held meetings with the deputy minister of foreign trade and industry of Japan–the presidents of the EXIM–JETRO and JICA banks–and the vice-president of the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund. During the meetings the sides discussed issues pertaining to the grant and credit programs being implemented in Armenia by the Government of Japan.

From Tokyo the official delegation of Armenia will head for Seoul.


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