FM Bilawal reaches Tokyo for leadership-level contacts

In Asia, Hot Topics, International
July 01, 2023

FM Bilawal reaches Tokyo for leadership-level contacts

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

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.

The recent visit of FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to Tokyo has brought renewed hope for the revival of leadership-level contacts between Pakistan and Japan. The FM’s visit comes after a gap of six years, and is seen as a positive step towards strengthening ties between the two countries.

During visit

During his visit, FM Bilawal held meetings with Japanese officials and business leaders to discuss ways of enhancing economic and trade cooperation between Pakistan and Japan. The FM also highlighted the potential of Pakistan’s economy and the various investment opportunities that exist in the country.

The visit is particularly significant in the context of Pakistan’s efforts to attract foreign investment and boost economic growth. Japan is a major investor in the region, and has already invested in various infrastructure projects in Pakistan, including the Karachi-Lahore Motorway and the Thar Coal Power project.

The FM’s visit to Tokyo is also important in terms of regional geopolitics, as Japan is a key player in the Asia-Pacific region. The visit provides an opportunity for Pakistan to strengthen its ties with Japan and deepen its engagement with the broader region.

In conclusion, FM Bilawal’s visit to Tokyo is a positive step towards reviving leadership-level contacts between Pakistan and Japan, and enhancing economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. The visit provides an opportunity for Pakistan to showcase its economic potential and attract more foreign investment, while also strengthening its ties with a key player in the Asia-Pacific region. It remains to be seen how the two countries will build on this visit in the coming months and years, but the signs are positive for a brighter future for Pakistan-Japan relations.