ISLAMABAD, Sep 30 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari while appreciating constructive role of Japan in the global and Asian affairs said Thursday that Pakistan views Japan as an important player for peace, progress, cooperation and stability in the world. He said that Pakistan desires stability, peace and development in the region and has always supported every effort of the international community in this regard.The President was talking to newly designated Japanese Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Ambassador Tadamichi Yamamoto, who called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Thursday.
Japanese Ambassador in Pakistan Mr. Chihiro Atsumi and Mr.Yasushi Nakagawa were accompanying the Ambassador. Minister of State for Economic Affairs Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan, Senator Sughra Imam and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir were also present besides senior officials.
Matters relating to Pak-Japan bilateral relations, mutual cooperation in various areas including trade and the regional situation were discussed during the meeting. The President said that Pakistan has always called upon the international community to focus on creating windows of opportunities for the people of the region who are affected by the menace of terrorism in order to address the issue effectively on one hand and to promote socio-economic development on the other.
The President specially drew attention towards drug menace in the region and said that it was critical to check narco trade which, he said, was the main source of funding of the militants. He said that Pakistan has always advocated an integrated approach to be adopted by the international community ranging from promoting alternative livelihood and agriculture development to eradication of drugs to counter militancy.
The President appreciated the Japanese flood relief assistance for the flood stricken people of Pakistan.
He also thanked the Japanese government for their active support and pro-active involvement at the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) Forum and the Donors Conference. The President said that Pakistan attached great importance to its friendly equation with Japan and regards it as an important friend and development partner.
He said that the existing mutual cooperation needs to be further enhanced with special focus on trade, development, security, energy and institution building.
He said that trade volume amounting to US $ 1.6 billion between the two countries needs to be further expanded.
The President said that Pakistan is keen on upgrading railway line between Pakistan and Turkey for the speedy movement of cargo.
He said that he had already proposed to the Turkish leadership the need for upgrading the existing railway line. Even last night he had telephoned Turkish President Abdullah Gul and suggested that the proposed project needs to be evaluated urgently, he said.
The President said that Japanese entrepreneurs could consider participation in building upgraded railway line for which finances could be raised through stock exchanges in three countries of Japan, Pakistan and Turkey.
Welcoming the modest upward trend in Japanese investment in Pakistan over last three years, the President said that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) exclusively for the Japanese investors were being established to facilitate them. The President said that Japanese investors would be welcome to invest in SEZs especially in energy, manufacturing and agro-industry.
He said that Pakistan greatly values Japanese development assistance in economic and infrastructural development and Japanese support in the area of capacity building would be welcomed. Ambassador Tadamichi Yamamoto condoled with the President over the losses caused by devastating floods and said that Japan will strongly support in the flood relief and recovery measures – APP