From the talk of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev while receiving credentials of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Azerbaijan - July 15, 2000

Tetsuo Hiroshi: Distinguished Mr. President!

I am honored to present to you my credentials on my appointment as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Azerbaijan and a letter of withdrawal of the former Ambassador Mr. Takehiro Togo.

I take this opportunity to inform Your Excellency that the government of Japan supports further development of friendly relations between our countries.

Development of diplomatic relations between our countries in a positive direction, and even more consolidation in the recent years, the foundation of which was laid in September 1992, is a gladdening event for the government and people of Japan.

The Japanese government is doing its utmost for the further development of relations wit the Republic of Azerbaijan, an independent country established, on a strong basis and based on mutual understanding. I will try to use every opportunity to strengthen our ties in various fields futher.

I ask your Excellency and the government of Azerbaijan not to spare the care and attention to me for a more effective execution of my responsibilities. Thank you for your attention.

Heydar Aliyev: Distinguished Mr. Ambassador, the inauguration of the Embassy of Japan in Azerbaijan and your appointment to our country are very important for the development of relations between our countries.

Diplomatic relations established between Japan and the independent Republic of Azerbaijan in 1992, is constantly developing, and in the recent years they have reached even greater heights.

Numerous meetings, negotiations with the Japanese Emperor, Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Economic Affairs, other ministers, leaders and representatives of business circles and particularly, the document I signed with the Prime Minister of this country Hashimoto opened a new stage in the Japanese-Azerbaijani relations during my official visit to Tokyo in 1998. Today, I declare with satisfaction that the relations of our countries developed rapidly in the subsequent years. The Japanese businessmen, large companies, and companies operating in the field of oil successfully function in Azerbaijan.

The Japanese-Azerbaijani relations are of great significance and importance for us. Today I want to say that we are very pleased with our relations, particularly with the economic relations. favourablel loans in large amount given to Azerbaijan by Japan in the recent years, is an assistance provided to us for the development of the energy sector in the country and other sectors of our economy.

I remember, that during the negotiations with the Japanese Prime Minister in Tokyo in1998, I raised the issue of a permanent embassy of Japan in Azerbaijan. The Japanese government was of the same opinion about it.They told me that they would carry out this work in the late 1999. I wanted this embassy open earlier. But apparently, Japan has strict laws in this field. I am pleased that the government of Japan has kept its word, and the Embassy of this country has opened in Azerbaijan, the Ambassador has been appointed and you have begun your activity.

I have no doubt that henceforth, our relations will further expand and develop intensively. And the Embassy of Japan in Azerbaijan will contribute to this.

You can be sure that all the state and government bodies of Azerbaijan will render all necessary assistance to the Japanese Embassy in Baku to work successfully. Azerbaijan and its government will be your constant assistants in this.

I want to declare one moment with pleasure, when the Ambassador of Japan in our country presented his credentials he spoke Azerbaijani.10-15 years ago we could not imagine any citizen of Japan speak Azeri language.

More than 400 Japanese specialists worked here in 1973-1975, while "Toshiba" company of Japan was building a huge plant in Azerbaijan - "The Baku factory of air conditioners". For two years they worked here with us. Some of those Japanese experts learned the Azerbaijani language then. But then it was of an episodic nature. Some of them learned the Azerbaijani language, because they worked here and adapted to Baku. It is a very appreciative that the Ambassador of Japan spoke Azerbaijani while being received in the Republic of Azerbaijan as in an independent state.

Of course, the fact that you know the Azerbaijani language will greatly help you in carrying out your work as an Ambassador of Japan to Azerbaijan.

Mr. Ambassador, I congratulate you once more. I wish you success in your work in our country, in the development of the Japanese-Azerbaijani relations.

Tetsuo Hirose: Mr. President, on May 16, you visited us in Baku, on behalf of Azerbaijan you expressed your condolences on the death of the former Prime Minister Obuchi. I should also mention that you made courtesy, took time to give an interview to one of the biggest TV companies of Japan. I want to bring to your attention that this interview has been demonstrated several times in Japan and at least 15 million Japanese listened to it and got acquainted with your thoughts.

Mr. President, although the death of Obuchi was a sad event, it gave the Japanese people the opportunity to listen to President Heydar Aliyev once more and get detailed information about Azerbaijan. I should also note the fact that the President of Azerbaijan visited our embassy and expressed his condolences, shared our sorrow, the Japanese took it as a great respect shown to Japanese state. I express my thanks to you for this, I would say that this was a great honor for us.

Heydar Aliyev: Mr. Ambassador, the thoughts you expressed pleased me very much. When I was in Japan on an official visit, the late Obuchi was the minister of Foreign Affairs. I had a detailed, substantive and very sincere conversation with him. Then I invited him to Azerbaijan. Last year Mr. Obuchi visited our republic as the minister of Foreign Affairs. But unfortunately, I was not in the country then. I was in the USA for treatment. Mr. Obuchi held very good meetings in Baku.

I want to declare that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, particularly Mr. Obuchi greatly helped in allocation of a large amount of loan to Azerbaijan. After his return from Baku, Mr. Obuchi became Prime Minister of Japan.

I remember the meetings and negotiations with the former Prime Minister, Mr. Hashimoto with great pleasure. As you know, both Hashimoto and Obuchi belonged to the same party.

I took the news of the death of Mr. Obuchi with great sadness and considered it my duty to come to the Embassy of Japan in Baku, to honor his memory. I do not doubt that the newly elected Prime Minister Mr. Mori will continue this policy and the relations between our two countries will develop further.

I want to declare once more that we feel great the interest and sincere attitude of Japan towards Azerbaijan and appreciate it.

You know that some time ago Azerbaijan joined the Asian Development Bank and became its member. It is known that Japan holds an outstanding position in the Asian Bank. Henceforth, we will expand our cooperation with Japan directly, as well as through the Asian Development Bank in order to be able to receive assistance from both sources for the further development of the market economy in Azerbaijan.

Mr. Ambassador, please convey my regards and wishes to Prime Minister Mr. Mori. I wish him much success in that high post.

Translated from "Azerbaijan", July 16, 2000