Japan will extend up to ¥32.7 billion ($300 million) in low-interest loans to Iraq to assist the country's plan to upgrade one of its oil refineries, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told his Iraqi counterpart, Fuad Hussein, on Saturday.

Motegi made the pledge during an unannounced trip to Baghdad, the first visit to Iraq by a Japanese foreign minister since Taro Aso in August 2006.

Separately, the Foreign Ministry said a meeting has been set for Sunday between Motegi and new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, an anti-U.S. conservative hard-liner who took office this month, in Tehran.