All Monday papers reported on the official lifting on Sunday of Western economic sanctions on Iran, with Nikkei projecting that Japan is likely to lift its own sanctions this week. Foreign Minister Kishida issued a statement on Sunday expressing hope to deepen Japan’s traditional friendly ties with Tehran. He also said: “Japan will support Iran in fulfilling additional roles for regional peace and stability.” Asahi explained that although Japanese businesses are keen to make inroads into Iran as a major market in the Middle East, they are already lagging behind the Europeans in their economic advancement into the nation. Sankei wrote that Japanese oil companies are anxious to regain the stake in the Azadegan oilfield that they relinquished in 2010 in the face of strong U.S. pressure, adding that the GOJ hopes to obtain Diet approval of an investment protection treaty with Tehran quickly to help them resume business in Iran.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga told the press on Monday that Japan will remove its sanctions on Tehran soon by saying: “Interagency coordination will be undertaken to lift them quickly.”