From the conversation of the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev with the head of the Japan official delegation of Japan Takeo Hirata - Presidential Palace, 23 December, 2000


Heydar Aliyev: You always had a great role in building the bilateral relations between Japan and Azerbaijan. At the same time we are in good terms with you. For that I am very glad for your visit to Azerbaijan.

Two days ago we started the construction of the new energy block at the ''North '' State Regional Electric Power Station. I haven't forgotten your role in getting these credits, and highly appreciate your activity. It's well that you came to Azerbaijan.

Takeo Hirata: Mr. President, thank you. I thank you for such a high opinion. Your words touched me deeply.

Azerbaijan and Japan are strategic partners. But the visit of Your Excellency to Japan in 1998 played great role in the establishment of bilateral relations, and became a turning point. Now in Japan people wait for the speedy improvement of the relations between two countries. We got information on your excellence participation at the ceremony of laying the foundation of the new energy block at the ''North'' State Regional Electric Power Station, and all of us highly estimate it.

During your visit to Japan our Emperor was very pleased to the meet you and arranged dinner party in your honour.

As a result of the visit of Your Excellency to Japan, Azerbaijan occupies the first place among the countries getting aid in the frames of the official aid program of Japan.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you, I haven't got information on this issue.

Takero Hirata: I declare once more that it is the result of the visit of Your Excellency to Japan.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you very much.

Takeo Hirata: I express my condolence to you especially on the behalf of the Japanese youth, it disappointed us greatly.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you.

Takeo Hirata: Your Excellency, I express my deep gratitude to you for the high estimation of the relation with me and respect to my personality. I sure you that I will do my best to broaden the bilateral relations and prepare of new projects for rendering assistance to Azerbaijan.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you. I want to declare once more that I highly appreciate your role in improving the relations between Japan and Azerbaijan. I am glad that you love Azerbaijan. Your are a person who have a great role in the establishment and improvement of our bilateral relations. I remember, you said that you were very glad to see the flag of Azerbaijan at the Winter Olympic Games at your home. I will never forget this. These are very sincere feelings.

We consider in Azerbaijan that my official visit to Japan was important both for our country and you. I remember my meeting with His Majesty the Emperor, and the banquet in my honor. Yesterday it was his birthday, and your national holiday. I sent a letter of congratulation on these occasions.

Then the Japan government promised to open their embassy in Azerbaijan, and kept their promises. Now their Embassy has opened in our country and a good diplomat was appointed to ambassador. He speaks Azerbaijani, and in this way expresses his great interest to our country.

Till now our cooperation was very successful. On one side the oil companies of Japan, and that other hand companies in the Caspian Sea is very important. Besides, what gladdens us mostly that Japan gave our country credits, and we use them, Japan gives us grants too. Owing to this, some works have been done in the sphere of health, science, and some others. The tractors brought from your country assist us at farm work. I consider that it is the first stage of our cooperation. After this our cooperation must be very broad. We want just this. I suppose that Japan thinks the same. If for the aid of Japan per capita Azerbaijan takes the first place, it means that Japan pays great attention to our country.

On more program connecting our countries is the reconstruction problem of the Great Silk Road. As you remember, we discussed this issue with your government and prime minster Mr. Hashemite personally in Tokyo.

We continued this work. I appreciate the participation of the Japan delegation at the International Conference hold in Azerbaijan.

The reconstruction of the Great Silk Road will be very important for the mankind in the future. We lay its foundation now. But it needs time that people see its good results. I suppose that if I shall not, you will see these. I want to declare once more the importance of the Japan- Azerbaijani relations for that. How is your son?

Takeo Hirata: Mr. President, I thank you. Now he is at secondary school at the Juniors' Colleges. He pays special attention to the geography. At the geography lesson he has found your state attributes your flag from the information about Azerbaijan. He feels proud to have information on Azerbaijan. He shows the flag of Azerbaijan to his schoolmates. He thought his schoolmates to pronounce word ''Azerbaijan'' correctly.

Heydar Aliyev: Let him teach them, this is very significant. You promised to bring him to Azerbaijan, but yet haven't kept your promise. It is natural that such deep feelings to Azerbaijan he has inherited from father. I also love your son very much. For this invite him to Azerbaijan especially. Bring him to Azerbaijan next time with you.

Takeo Hirata: Mr. President, thank you. This is a great honor for us. If you allow, I want to share my views about the future relations and the name of the projects which will be realized speedily.

Heydar Aliyev: All right.