Diplomatic Bluebook 2015
Japan’s Foreign Policy that Takes a Panoramic Perspective of the World Map
Iran is a major power in the Middle East, with a population of more than 70 million and abundant natural resources. Japan has maintained and strengthened an historically friendly relationship with Iran from the point of view of stable supply of crude oil and securing the stability of the Middle East region. With regard to the Iranian nuclear issue, Japan has been contributing to a peaceful and diplomatic solution of the issue in coordination with the international community from its unique position.
Since the inauguration of the Rouhani administration, which advocates a constructive cooperation with the international community, in 2013, the negotiation on the Iranian nuclear issue between Iran and the EU (the United Kingdom, France and Germany) ＋3 (the United States, China and Russia) has seen progress. Through the negotiation held in Geneva, the “Joint Plan of Action” which consists of the first step and the final step of the comprehensive agreement, was agreed on November 24, 2013. The implementation of the “Joint Plan of action began on January 20, 2014. In February, the negotiation commenced between Iranian and the EU3＋3 and Iran aiming to reach comprehensive agreement by July. However, the parties failed to come to an agreement before the deadline, and it was announced on July 19 that the deadline of negotiations will be extended to November 24. The negotiation took place intermittently after the extension of the deadline, but it was announced again on November 24 that the Joint Plan of Action will be extended to June 30, 2015, by which the parties aim to reach an agreement. In December, the first meeting after the re-extension was held in Geneva.
Immediately after the inauguration of the Rouhani administration, Japan tried to further strengthen the historically friendly bilateral relationship with Iran through multi-layered dialogue including high-level political contacts. Japan has also encouraged Iran to promote confidence-building with the international community on the regional and international issues including the nuclear issue. Including the occasion of the summit meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Rouhani which was held when they attended the UN General Assembly in September (a summit meeting with Iran was held two years in a row), Japan has made active diplomatic efforts to encourage the high-level Iranian politicians and officials, including President Rouhani, to contribute to the solution of Iran’s nuclear issue and the stability of the Middle East region. Also there were frequent high-level visits between Japan and Iran, including of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Vice-President and Head of Department of Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar’s respective visits in March and in April.