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RAWALPINDI: Japanese Ambassador Kuninori Matsuda on Thursday said his country’s airline wanted to start operations on the Tokyo-Bangkok-Islamabad route.

He stated this during a meeting with Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, says a press release.

The ambassador said PIA had two weekly flights on Islamabad-Beijing-Tokyo route, so Japan Airlines also wanted to start flights on the Tokyo-Bangkok-Islamabad route.

An air service agreement (ASA) between Pakistan and Japan was initiated on Oct 17, 1961, and signed on July 12, 1962.

The ASA stipulates single airline designation with PIA being the designated airline of Pakistan and Japan Airlines being the designated carrier of Japan.

The minister thanked the ambassador for Japan’s help through Japan International Corporation Agency (Jica) for Airport Security Force and Pakistan Meteorological Department.

The minister said ASF may be provided institutional-based technical training for the equipment. He also asked the ambassador for reducing the time span between planning stage for and executing the equipment’s provision by Jica.

A specialised medium range weather forecast centre costing Rs2.5 billion has been established in Islamabad through the Japanese aid. Japan also helped in installation of weather surveillance radars at Karachi, Multan, Lahore and Sukkur.

The ambassador said Japan wanted to invest in the textile and vehicle industry. He said his country was also interested in Pakistan’s skilled manpower in the fields of industry, construction, agriculture, fishing, food, beverages and aviation.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2019