Abe Seeking to Mediate U.S.-Iran Tensions on Visit to Tehran
Tokyo, June 9 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Iran from Wednesday, where he is expected to try to convince President Hassan Rouhani and other Iranian leaders to find a peaceful solution to heightened tensions with the United States over the 2015 nuclear deal.
The three-day visit will be the first by a sitting Japanese prime minister in 41 years.
Abe hopes to flex his diplomatic muscles for the world to see, ahead of the summer election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of Japan's parliament.
The prime minister is in a good position to play mediator, thanks to his personal bond with U.S. President Donald Trump and Japan's longstanding friendly relationship with Iran.
One Japanese Foreign Ministry official said, "Japan is the only country both sides can speak to frankly," noting that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made an abrupt trip to Japan in mid-May ahead of Trump's state visit.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]