Venezuelan Ambassador Carlos Enrique Nones Sucre said Wednesday his country is eager to develop closer trade, investment and economic cooperation with Japan.

An important supplier of oil and other energy products to Japan, Venezuela hopes to export farm produce and other nontraditional items to Japan, the ambassador told The Japan Times. Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves in the Western Hemisphere.

Orimulsion, Venezuela’s unique solid heavy oil that can be used as a clean fuel to generate electricity, is a very promising export, the envoy explained. In Japan, Kansai Electric Power Co. has plans to start using Orimulsion in the near future. Venezuela hopes to import more Japanese tourists, possibly through chartered flights to overcome the distance barrier, he said. The country attracts nearly 1 million foreign visitors a year.

The country’s major tourist attractions include Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, the long Caribbean coastline, more than 300 species of birds and other eco-tourism resources. Japan and Venezuela mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year.

Venezuela’s presidential election is approaching in December, and Nones said arrangements have been made to enable Venezuelans abroad to vote for the first time. Venezuelan citizens in Japan can vote through the Venezuelan Embassy in Tokyo, he said.

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