Tokyo, Dec 20 (IANS) Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday called on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, urging him to stick to the commitments made under the 2015 nuclear agreement, of which the US withdrew last year.
During a meeting between Abe and Rouhani in Tokyo, the Japanese Prime Minister expressed his wishes that Iran “play a constructive role” for the maintenance of peace in the Middle East, Efe news reported.
He also requested Tehran to fully respect the agreement on the Iran nuclear program that was signed in 2015 by the Iranian government and several world powers.
During the meeting, Rouhani also vowed to keep the 2015 nuclear agreement in force and took the opportunity to condemn the US for leaving the pact last year.
“The nuclear agreement is extremely important for Iran. That is why we strongly condemn the unilateral and irrational withdrawal from the United States,” said Rouhani, who also expressed his hope that “Japan and other countries make efforts” to maintain the pact.
Rouhani is on a two-day visit to Japan, the first held by a head of state of the Islamic Republic in about two decades. The Iranian leader arrived in Tokyo from Malaysia, where he participated this week in a summit of Islamic countries in Kuala Lumpur.
Rouhani’s public agenda included the interview with Abe and a subsequent gala dinner.
In his daily press conference, Yoshihide Suga, Japanese government Spokesman, said that the intention of the Japanese government is to “meticulously” explain to Iran the measures to ensure sea navigation on key routes in the Persian Gulf.
As Suga noted, 90 per cent of the oil that Japan imports comes from the Middle East, which is why “the safety of ship navigation is very important.”
Japan, he added, is studying the shipment of units of its Self-Defense Forces to ensure the safety of the route.
“We will explain well the objective of these policies with the related countries so that they understand us well,” Suga added.
In addition to this issue, the agreement in 2015 to guarantee the peaceful purposes of the Iranian nuclear program was mentioned since the beginning of the meeting between Abe and Rouhani.
The US, one of the countries that signed that agreement under the Barack Obama Administration, abandoned it on May 8, 2018, with Donald Trump installed in the White House, and Iran announced last May that it stopped complying with some commitments
The meeting between Abe and Rouhani follows the one the Japanese prime minister had in Tehran when he visited the city in June, during attempts for Tokyo to mediate the easing of tensions between Washington and Iran.
The efforts were unsuccessful. In fact, tensions between Washington and Tehran resurfaced as two tankers were attacked in the Strait of Hormuz during Abe’s Tehran visit, one of which belonged to a Japanese ship owner.