Telephone Conversation between Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran

January 7, 2009

On January 7 (Wed), for about 30 minutes from 18:20, Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone, Minister for Foreign Affairs, had a telephone conversation with Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  This telephone conversation was held in a response to a request from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

  1. As this year marks the 80th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 50th anniversary of the entry into force of the cultural agreement between Japan and Iran, Mr. Mottaki hoped that the cordial bilateral relations between the two countries would be expanded further.  Responding to this, Mr. Nakasone expected that the dialogue between the countries would be promoted further in various fields and at different levels, in consideration of this year’s significance.

  2. On the current situation in the Gaza Strip, Mr. Mottaki said that it was a matter of urgency to stop the attacks by Israel on the Gaza Strip immediately and to open the Rafah Crossing.  He also expected Japan to play a role for that.

  3. Responding to this, Mr. Nakasone expressed his deep concern that innocent Palestinian citizens were victimized by the attacks.  Mr. Nakasone said that both Israel and the Palestinian militant groups needed to halt the use of armed force immediately and achieve a durable ceasefire agreement to prevent any recurrence of the present situation.  Mr. Nakasone also shared Japan’s efforts to resolve recent situation with countries concerned at a high level and provide humanitarian assistance to the residents in the Gaza Strip, and said that Japan would continue to play active role as a member of the Security Council.  In addition, Mr. Nakasone hoped that Iran would also play a constructive role in dealing with the present situation.

  4. While praising Japan’s humanitarian assistance for the Gaza Strip, Mr. Mottaki responded saying that Japan would be expected to play a greater role as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.  He welcomed the close exchange of views between Iran and Japan, especially hoping to continue the dialogue between the Foreign Ministers, and warmly invited Mr. Nakasone to Iran.

  5. Mr. Nakasone expressed his gratitude for this invitation, and hoped to visit Iran if there is opportunity and, in any case, to see Mr. Mottaki in the near future.