ISLAMABAD: Japan has appreciated steps taken by Pakistan for consolidation of its nuclear export control regime and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. This was stated by the Press Secretary of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs while briefing newsmen about discussions of Japanese Foreign Minister with Pakistani leadership. He said Japan welcomes initiation of Pakistan-Japan Disarmament and Non-Proliferation talks.
He said during talks President and Prime Minister of Pakistan thanked Japan for its support in joining Asia-Europe Economic Summit during its next meeting in October this year. The spokesman said President Musharraf emphasized the need for enhancing the current bilateral trade that stands at about two billion dollars a year and Japanese investment in high tech, heavy industry and machine tools in Pakistan.
He hoped that the recent signing of agreement between the two countries on avoidance of double taxation would encourage Japanese investors to make investment in Pakistan. He, however, said Pakistan will have to improve security situation to create conducive environment for more investment. The spokesman pointed out that during 2006, about fourteen thousand Japanese tourists visited Pakistan but the number reduced drastically during last year.
He said Japan lauds Pakistan vital role in the war against terror and is ready to extend more support for economic development of FATA with a view to stabilizing situation there. He said Japan is also assisting Pakistan and international organizations in repatriation of Afghan refugees to their homeland. Japan has so far donated nearly 10.3 billion Yen for the purpose.
The spokesman said during his meetings with Pakistani leaders the visiting Japanese Foreign Minister conveyed the message that his country attaches great importance to the long-standing friendship with Pakistan. Japan also believes the stability and development of Pakistan is directly linked to the peace and stability of the Asian region as well as that of the international community as a whole.
He said Japan supports Pakistan, which has strengthened its democracy, as well as its renewed efforts to further its stability and development. He said Japan recognizes the serious efforts by Pakistan in fighting terrorism in the face of many to its people having fallen victim to terrorism.-SANA