Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani will visit Japan from Friday to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Japanese government said Tuesday.
The two-day visit comes amid the U.S.-Iran standoff over a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. Japan has built friendly ties with Iran and been seeking to promote dialogue between Tehran and Washington.
The summit, scheduled for Friday, is part of Tokyo’s diplomatic efforts to help ease tensions in the Middle East and stabilize the situation there, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference.
Iran is seen as reeling from the U.S. sanctions reinstated after Washington pulled out of the deal.
Rouhani will become the first Iranian leader to visit Japan since Mohammad Khatami in 2000.
The United States has launched a maritime security initiative to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz along the coast of Iran after a series of oil tanker attacks.
Japan has decided not to join the coalition and is now planning to send its Self-Defense Forces to areas outside the strait, a critical seaway for the transportation of oil, to gather intelligence.
Abe is likely to brief Rouhani on the plan before the Cabinet formally endorses it next week.
Abe visited Iran in June, becoming the first Japanese prime minister to do so since 1978.
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