Preparations underway for Rouhani visit to Japan

Baku, December 10, AZERTAC

A senior Iranian diplomat says he hopes the possible visit to Japan by President Hassan Rouhani later this month will help strengthen economic ties, according to NHK WORLD-JAPAN.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told NHK in Vienna, Austria, that arrangements are underway to fix a date for the visit, and he is hopeful it will be decided soon.

He said Japan is an economic partner and provider of technology to Iran, which has always been one of Japan's major oil suppliers.

Araghchi added Iran wants to maintain the same positive relationship with Japan, and hinted at a possible resumption of oil exports.

President Rouhani is set to visit Malaysia for three days from December 18. He is keen to visit Japan before or after that trip.

No Iranian president has visited Japan since Mohammad Khatami in October 2000.

Observers say Tehran wants to boost its flagging economy by strengthening its Japanese business ties.

But they say this will not be easy in the face of US economic sanctions on the country.

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