Iranian Minister of Petroleum Javad Owji voiced Iran’s preparedness to cooperate with Japanese companies in the field on energy, and said: “Iran can play an important role in providing the energy needed by Japan.”
Javad Owji, in a meeting with Nishimura Yasutoshi, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan on Wednesday, stated that this is his first visit to Japan, adding: “Japanese companies are very well-known in Iran and the Iranian people specially regard the Japanese.”
He stated the purpose of his trip to Japan was to attend Shinzo Abe's memorial ceremony, participate in the Asia Green Growth Partnership Ministerial Meeting (AGGPM) and meet with some large Japanese companies, and added: “Mr. Abe is a respected and influential figure in the field of Japanese politics and economy and his trip to Iran in 2018 was a turning point in the relations between the two countries.”
Stating that the leaders of the two countries recently met in New York he added: “We have examined the fields of cooperation in the meeting with Japanese companies and are trying to expand them.”
Owji added: “The Iranian people will never forget the memory of the Japanese Oil Refining Company (Idemitsu), which bought oil from Iran during the embargo on the sale of Iranian oil due to the nationalization of the oil industry.”
Stating that Iran can play an important role in providing the energy needed by Japan, Mr. Owji clarified: “The unprecedented drop and low level of trade and economic cooperation caused by the unilateral and cruel sanctions of the United States is not worthy of the two countries.”
The Iranian petroleum minister emphasized Iran's readiness to develop cooperation in the oil and gas sector with Japan, and added: “Iran's oil industry needs $160 billion of investment in the oil, gas, refinery and petrochemical sector in the next eight years.”
Stating that there is a possibility of cooperation between Iran and Japan in the field of optimization and training under the sanctions, Owji said: “There are very high capacities for Japanese companies to cooperate with Iran from upstream to downstream.”
Not Delayed by JCPOA Talks
Referring to the signing of $100 billion worth of contracts and memorandums of understanding with foreign and domestic companies under the 13th administration, he said: "The Ministry of Petroleum has not been delayed by the outcome of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) talks and has started initial negotiations with foreign parties, and these negotiations are progressing well."
Emphasizing that Iran welcomes cooperation with Japanese companies that have the necessary experience and technical knowhow in the field of optimizing energy consumption and reducing carbon emissions, collecting flare gases, etc., he said: “Any company that invests in this sector can take away half of the volumes it produces.”
Cooperation under Sanctions
Nishimura Yasutoshi, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, in this meeting, referred to the good relations between the two countries and Iran's high cultural history, and said: “Iran is an important country in the region and the world, and Japan is interested in strengthening relations with Iran.”
Recalling that he is the secretary of the Iran-Japan Friendship Group and has traveled to Iran since he was a student, he clarified: “The late Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, had special respect for Iran.”
The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan expressed regret for the withdrawal of the country from the Azadegan Field development project, and said: “The Japanese government has always supported the JCPOA and hopes that the negotiations will be concluded as soon as possible and that Japan will be able to cooperate with Iran, especially in the oil and gas sector.”
Emphasizing that the Japanese government encourages companies to operate in Iran, Yasutoshi added: "Even in the conditions of sanctions, there are good opportunities for cooperation, especially in the field of optimizing energy consumption, collecting associated gases, etc."
Stating that many Japanese companies kept their offices in Tehran and are present in Iran, he said: “This shows the importance of interaction with Iran for Japanese companies.”
Iran, Japan Senior Officials Keen on Development of Cooperation
In his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the Iranian Minister of Petroleum emphasized the development of cooperation between the two countries.
Javad Owji met with Yoshimasa Hayashi on Wednesday, expressing his satisfaction at traveling to the beautiful country of Japan to participate in the memorial ceremony of Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister of Japan, and to pay his respects and condolences to the people of Japan and the Japanese government.
“I had the opportunity to participate in the Asia Green Growth Partnership Ministerial Meeting (AGGPM) and talk with a group of the most prominent Japanese companies active in various sectors of the oil industry,” he said.
He added: “In the new Iranian administration, there is a comprehensive plan for the development of the oil industry with the forecast of attracting $160 billion of investment in eight years and bringing the level of oil production capacity to 5.7 million barrels per day and natural gas production to 1.5 billion cubic meters per day.”
Stating that Iran can play an important role in Japan's energy supply, the Iranian petroleum minister clarified: “Currently, the level of economic cooperation between the two countries is not at a decent level. Japanese companies are very well-known in Iran, and this is a valuable capital for the development of cooperation between the two countries.”
He expressed hope that the possibility of cooperation with Japanese companies in the oil, gas, refinery and petrochemical sectors will be established.
In this meeting, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also recalled that he accompanied the Prime Minister of this country, Fumio Kishida, to the New York summit, where they met with Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, and emphasized: “The leaders of the two countries are determined to develop cooperation.”
He added: "The price of oil has increased a lot in recent months, and Iran has the opportunity to take maximum advantage of this situation by finalizing the negotiations."