Japan lifts sanctions on Iran
Japan has lifted its sanctions against Iran, joining the ranks of the world’s major economies to normalize trade ties with the Islamic Republic.
The Japanese cabinet approved the lifting of the sanctions on Friday following the implementation of a nuclear deal between Iran and the US, the EU, China and Russia.
“Japan would like to strengthen our cooperative relationship with Iran further and contribute to the peace and stability of the Middle East through our traditional friendly relationship with Iran,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
“We will continue to support the consistent implementation of the final agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue as we see it as a way to enforce nuclear non-proliferation and contribute to stability in the Middle East,” he added.
The implementation of the nuclear agreement last weekend set in motion the permanent lifting of sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the United Nations and the United States.
The deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), had been reached in July 2015.
Suga said Tokyo would cancel bans on Japanese exports to Iran and and the Iranian oil and gas sector.
Tehran and Tokyo are expected to sign an investment agreement in the near future as Japanese companies are already lining up to resume business ties with the country.
Tokyo says it will send a team to Iran to acquire stakes in Iran’s resources development and economic reconstruction projects.
Tehran also accounted for 10% of Japan’s oil imports before sanctions cut them to five percent. Japan now wants to raise the purchases to the previous level.
Last August, Japan’s State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Daishiro Yamagiwa visited Tehran at the head of a delegation representing 21 companies.
Executives from major trading houses such as Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co. and Itochu, as well as plant-engineering giant JGC and big-name banks accompanied Yamagiwa in the visit.