FM Bilawal reaches Tokyo for ‘revival of leadership-level contacts’

Published July 1, 2023
A boy presents a bouquet to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari upon his arrival in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday. — Photo via FO Twitter
A boy presents a bouquet to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari upon his arrival in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday. — Photo via FO Twitter

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari reached Tokyo today (Saturday) for a four-day visit to Japan, following an invitation from the Japanese government.

Upon his arrival, he was received by Pakistan’s ambassador to Japan, officials from the Japanese foreign ministry and members of the Pakistani community in Tokyo, according to the Foreign Office (FO).

Ahead of his visit, the FO said in a statement that the foreign minister’s visit “signals the revival of leadership level contacts with Japan after a considerable hiatus”.

During the visit, Bilawal is set to hold delegation-level talks with his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi. He will also be meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Also on the schedule is a meeting with Japanese National Security Adviser Takeo Akiba.

He is also expected to interact with senior officials and executives representing prominent business houses and entities related to the import of Pakistani manpower to Japan, the statement said.

Furthermore, the foreign minister will be delivering a talk at the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), a think tank of Japan.

“Pakistan and Japan enjoy a long-standing time-tested relationship characterised by warmth, cordiality and commonality of views on issues,” the FO said.

Bilawal’s trip comes four days after Fore­ign Secretary Dr Asad Majeed Khan held Bilat­eral Political Consul­tati­ons with his Japanese coun­terpart Shigeo Yamada in Tokyo on Tuesday.

A statement issued by the FO after the meeting said all interlocutors of the Japanese foreign secretary had expressed goodwill and warm wishes towards the people and government of Pakistan, underlining that the Japanese side was looking forward to the upcoming visit of the FM Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

Diplomatic ties between Japan and Pakistan were established in April 1952, and in October 2019 when President Arif Alvi attended the enthronement ceremony of Japanese Emperor Naruhito in Tokyo, according to the FO website.

Earlier that year, then-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had also visited Japan and both sides had agreed on exploring the possibility of cooperation in human resource development, IT, tourism, and automobile sectors.

In 2011, the then-president and Bilawal’s father, Asif Ali Zardari, had also visited Japan. During the trip, the two countries had signed the Joint Statement on Japan-Pakistan Comprehensive Partnership.

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