“Tokyo hoping to mediate between key partners Washington, Tehran”

“Tokyo hoping to mediate between key partners Washington, Tehran”
February 1-18, 2010
     Earlier this month, Laura Rozen reported that Japan and Iran have been holding high-level talks on a possible Japanese role in hosting a nuclear fuel swap. With Japan’s behind-the-scenes efforts proving unsuccessful, the US is pushing for Japanese support in a UNSC vote for sanctions (Politico). In December, Japan’s ambassador to Iran Akio Shirota told Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi that Japan is ready to expand bilateral cooperation in various fields, including nuclear energy, while in Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada urged Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili to cooperate with the US. Last month, Shirota invited Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani to visit Tokyo.
     In an op-ed on Thursday, former Japanese diplomat Yoshiki Mine argues that Japan, with its experience using nuclear energy, should help Iran take measures to gain the trust of other global actors over its nuclear program. Mine writes that Japan, as the largest importer of Iranian oil and a state positioned “outside the framework of mutual mistrust” between Iran and the West, can make Iran understand the need to cooperate with IAEA inspectors. Mine argues that such Japan-Iran cooperation should involve discussions at the Cabinet level focusing exclusively on the nuclear issue (Mainichi Shimbun).
Politico | Mainichi Shimbun (Feb. 18, morning edition)

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