Tokyo, Aug 15, Kyodo/IRNA -- Japan's Trade Minister Shoichi Nakagawa
said Sunday his country has no intention of changing its policy of
pursuing an oil development deal with Iran due to a US request to
"We won't say we`ll give up just because we were asked to do so,"
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Nakagawa told reporters when
asked to comment on US Secretary of State Colin Powell's remarks
"There will be no policy reversal at the current stage," Nakagawa
But he noted that Tokyo will stay in close contact with
Washington in proceeding with the oil deal and in dealing with
Iran's suspected nuclear energy programs.
"We can't just disregard the nuclear problem," he said.
Japan and Iran signed an agreement in February to develop the
Azadegan oil fields in southern Iran, one of the world's largest oil
In an interview with Japanese news organizations Thursday, Powell
said the United States hopes Japan will take into account Tehran's
suspected nuclear energy development programs in tacitly urging Tokyo
to reconsider the oil deal with Iran.
Washington believes the uranium enrichment program by oil-rich
Iran is intended to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran says it needs enriched uranium for power stations being
built to meet booming domestic demand for electricity.
The United States has indicated its intention to bring the
Iranian nuclear case before the UN Security Council for sanctions.
"I would hope that the Japanese government, Japanese business,
would take this into account as they make judgments as to whether
this is the place that one should be making investments in or
be doing this kind of energy business with," Powell said.
... Payvand News - 8/15/04 ... --