By Sara Israfilbayova
Azerbaijan and Japan have a fruitful dialogue in many areas and trade turnover between the two countries is growing steadily.
Newly appointed Minister of Taxes of Azerbaijan Mikail Jabbarov made the remarks at an event dedicated to the birthday of the Emperor of Japan in Baku on December 5.
The minister said close relations between Azerbaijan and Japan show that a great distance is not an obstacle to successful cooperation.
Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador to Azerbaijan Teruyuki Katore has told reporters that Japan will pay attention to development of cooperation with Azerbaijan in non-industrial areas.
Japan has been rendering assistance to Azerbaijan mainly in industry and infrastructure, he said, adding that Japan wants to assist Azerbaijan in development of human resources, education and agriculture in the future.
Earlier, Teruyuki said that at first Japan supported large energy projects in the country, and today focused on more local projects in the regions, such as the construction of water supply systems, secondary schools and medical institutions.
Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Japan were established in 1992. A number of important projects are being implemented in Azerbaijan through the financial support of Japan, while very important infrastructure projects had already been commissioned in the country through Japanese government`s loans.
Japan was one of the first countries to support Azerbaijan's forward-looking oil strategy. Today two major Japanese companies Itochu and Impex are involved in the Contract of the Century [signed on September 20, 1994 in Baku, a large-scale international contract on the joint development of three oil fields - Azeri, Chirag, Gunashli in the Azerbaijani Sector of the Caspian Sea].
Moreover, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has financed four loan projects in the country in the amount of $900 million in the sectors of energy, water supply and sewerage, since the beginning of its cooperation with Azerbaijan.
JICA has allocated $64 million for grant projects in the sectors of agriculture, health, energy, irrigation and road administration.
Leaders of Japanese business, Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Marubeni, and Sojits are involved in energy and infrastructure projects in the country.
In late October, Baku hosted an exhibition of Japanese food products for the first time, where about 500 high-quality Japanese products, including food products, drinks, cosmetics and many other products were presented.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Japan amounted to $49.59 million in January-June of 2017, according to the Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee.
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