Courtesy Call on Mr. Katsuya Okada, Deputy Prime Minister of Japan, by H.E. Mr. Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia

June 6, 2012

On Wednesday, June 6, Mr. Katsuya Okada, the Deputy Prime Minister of Japan, received a courtesy call from H.E. Mr. Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, from 12:20 p.m. for approximately 30 minutes (Minister Nalbandian is accompanying H.E. Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, President of Armenia, who is on an official working visit to Japan). An overview of the meeting is as follows:

  1. Opening
    (1) At the start of the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Okada welcomed Minister Nalbandian on his first visit to Japan in three years. He also expressed gratitude for the visit of President Sargsyan to Sendai on Tuesday, June 5 and the condolences offered to those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

    (2) In response, Minister Nalbandian said that he was pleased to be meeting Deputy Prime Minister Okada again and that he was happy to have been able to realize the visit by President Sargsyan, something which noted he had promised during his last visit to Japan in 2009, a time when Deputy Prime Minister Okada was the Minister for Foreign Affairs. He explained that President Sargsyan had participated in emotional exchanges with the those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in Sendai during his visit on June 5, said that the Republic Armenia could well understand the feelings of the affected people as a country that was also prone to earthquakes, and again expressed condolences to all those affected.

  2. Bilateral relations
    (1) Minister Nalbandian noted that since his visit in 2009, the Armenian Embassy in Tokyo had opened in 2010, and the first Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Japan had been appointed in May 2012. He expressed satisfaction that the Japan-Armenia relationship had been vitalized by these events. In addition, he expressed his strong wish to see the opening of a Japanese embassy in Armenia in order to further strengthen bilateral relations moving forward in the fields of politics, economy, trade and other areas.

    (2) In response, Deputy Prime Minister Okada stated that Armenia held the key to peace and stability in the Caucasus region, and that he was also pleased to have seen the deepening of bilateral relations, including the opening of the Armenian Embassy in Tokyo. He stated his expectations for further developments of the bilateral relationship thanks to the visit by President Sargsyan this time. Deputy Prime Minister Okada also pointed out the importance of uncovering latent potential in trade and economic relations between the two countries, remarking that he wanted to continue to cooperate with the new Ambassador.

    (3) In response, Minister Nalbandian explained that H.E. Mr. Grant Poghosyan, Ambassador-Designate to Japan, was a specialist in Japan, and that it was expected that he would develop bilateral relations as a whole. He also said that he hoped to energize the exchanges between parliamentarians in Japan and Armenia, centered on the activities of Mr. Samvel Farmanyan, Deputy of National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, who had accompanied President Sargsyan to Tokyo.

  3. International affairs
    (1) Minister Nalbandian explained the current situation of negotiations toward the normalization of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey. Deputy Prime Minister Okada pointed out the importance of cooperation between Armenia and Turkey to advance negotiations in order see peace and stability in the region.

    (2) The two discussed the issue of nuclear development in Iran, noting the importance of arriving at a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation, and sharing the view that it was vital to continue calling on Iran to this end.

(*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)

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