Japan FM rejects US, Israeli pressure regarding ties with Iran
Japan's foreign minister said Wednesday negotiations to develop an oil field in Iran are not contingent on assurances from Tehran that it shelve a suspected nuclear weapons program.
The United States, has been accusing Iran of developing a secret nuclear program and has voiced opposition to a Japanese investment, which could be worth at least US$2 billion.
"Japan shares with the international community the nuclear weapons concerns. We are doing our best to encourage Iran to remove them," Yoriko Kawaguchi said at a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan.
"We depend on the outside for 99 percent of our oil. To secure oil has been an important policy goal for Japan, so
we have been conducting discussions," she said. "It is a different issue than the nuclear issue."
It should be recalled that Israel's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met Tuesday in Tokyo with Kawaguchi.
During the meeting, Shalom raised the issue of Iran's nuclear program, and its "sponsorship of terrorism." He stated that "Japan must condition its signature upon economic projects with Iran on that country's adoption of the 'Additional Protocol,'" adding that "the Iranian enrichment of uranium must be stopped, as it will lead to the completion of their nuclear fuel cycle."
"As a member of the IAEA Board of Governors, and on the basis of its unique historical experience, Japan recognizes the crucial nature of international activity in this realm," Shalom said. http://www.albawaba.com/news/index.php3?sid=257229&lang=e&dir=news
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Japan says no conclusion yet on Iran oil field
Reuters, 08.27.03, 3:58 AM ET
TOKYO, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said on Wednesday that no conclusion had been reached on a deal with Iran to develop Azadegan, one of the world's largest untapped oil fields.
Kawaguchi said Japan was discussing with Iran concerns over Tehran's nuclear programme as a separate issue from its search for new sources of oil.
"These are two separate policy goals. We have not come to a point where we need to discuss them together," she told a news conference.
"These are two separate policy issues. Each one is important."
A Japanese government-backed consortium missed a June 30 deadline with Iran to seal a $2 billion deal to develop Azadegan, following pressure from the United States to back away from it due to concerns over Iran's nuclear programme.
But Tokyo had made clear it was still keen to do the deal with Tehran, its third-largest oil supplier. The consortium includes the government-backed Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (JAPEX) and INPEX Corp as well as Japanese trading house Tomen Corp http://www.forbes.com/business/energy/newswire/2003/08/27/rtr1067133.html
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