Azerbaijani Ambassador to Japan Azer Huseyn: “Development of economic cooperation with Japan is a priority of our economic diplomacy” - EXCLUSIVE

Azerbaijani Ambassador to Japan Azer Huseyn: “Development of economic cooperation with Japan is a priority of our economic diplomacy” <font color=red>- EXCLUSIVE</font>
# 21 May 2008 12:26 (UTC +04:00)
-How do you evaluate present level and prospects of Azerbaijan-Japan relations?
-Azerbaijan attaches great importance to its bilateral relations with Japan. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on September 7, 1992. Azerbaijan and Japan have strong political ties. The countries are developing cooperation in various fields based on mutual respect, interest and friendship. One of the priorities of Azerbaijan’s economic diplomacy is the development of economic cooperation with Japan, the second economic power in the world. Relations between the two countries in the fields of tourism and culture are also developing. Not only business, but also tourist travels from Japan to Azerbaijan is increasing year by year. World Tourism Expo took place in Tokyo in September 2007. For the first time tourism companies attended the exhibition alongside with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and introduced tourism capacity of our country in Japan.
-Do Japanese oil and gas companies plan to increase investment in Azerbaijan’s energy sector?
-Japanese INPEX and Itochu corporations are shareholders of the “Contract of
Century”. Undoubtedly exploration of both Caspian offshore and onshore hydrocarbon fields has a strategic importance for Azerbaijan. Japan in interested to put investment in various fields in Azerbaijan. We try to involve Japan not only in oil and gas industry, but also in the development of non-oil sector, high technologies, as well as gaining of experience in various fields. Japanese companies began to show interest to other industrial fields alongside with the energy sector in Azerbaijan.
-Will Japan increase its technical assistance to Azerbaijani agriculture?
Japan’s Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers Program or Kennedy Round 2 (KR 2) has been carried out for increasing of productivity in Azerbaijan since 1997. They have allocated $25 million by now. Pilot program by the organization of Japan International Cooperation Bank and several specialist of Hokkaido region, known as center of Japanese agriculture has been implemented in several regions of Azerbaijan for development of agriculture. Information, report and evaluations collected as a result of visits of investigation character will be productive documents for Japanese businessmen investing capital to agriculture of Azerbaijan.
-Will Japan join TRACECA project?
Japanese diplomacy decided to consider priority of cooperation of countries, which passed the way of restoration of Historical Silk Road. Japanese Government decided to participate in all projects and programs on restoration of Historical Silk Road. Japan renders technical assistance to the realization of transport projects within the framework of TRACECA and participates in the projects within the framework of Asian Development Bank. Japan has participated in all transport projects covered TRACECA region and intends to participate in it actively.
-Will Japanese state officials visit Azerbaijan or vice versa?
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev visited Japan in March, 2006. The President has invited Japanese Prime Minister to our country. Japanese Foreign Minister will visit Azerbaijan and vice versa. Azerbaijani Education Minister will visit Japan as well.
What about Azerbaijanis residing in Japan?
Majority of Azerbaijanis is students in Japan. There are Azerbaijanis working in Japanese companies and married with Japanese. Japanese are friendly, hospitable people. Japan has good approach on Azerbaijanis.