Tokyo, 3 July 2023 (TDI): Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, embarked on a visit to Japan from July 1 to 4, 2023, at the invitation of the Japanese Government.

This visit holds significant importance as it signifies the revival of leadership-level contact between Pakistan and Japan after a prolonged hiatus. During his stay, the Foreign Minister engaged in delegation-level talks with his Japanese counterpart, Yoshimasa Hayashi.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was scheduled to meet the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, and Takeo Akiba, the National Security Advisor of Japan; the Foreign Minister delivered a speech at the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), a renowned think tank in Japan.

The visit aims to strengthen diplomatic ties and foster cooperation between the two nations.

Here is the full script of his remarks Joint Press Stakeout in Tokyo.

His Excellency Yoshimasa Hayashi, Foreign Minister of Japan,
Members of the Japanese delegation and
The representatives of Japanese and international media.

Good Afternoon!

At the outset, let me express my sincere gratitude to Foreign Minister Hayashi for hosting me and my delegation this morning. This is my first visit to Japan and to this beautiful city Tokyo.

Pakistan and Japan are longstanding friends and share a special bond based on deep rooted linkages that go far in history and time. The people of Pakistan carry a deep sentiment of warmth and affection for Japan and the Japanese people. We have always stood with each other in times of need.

We attach high importance to our relationship with Japan. Last year, we have seen new energy and vigour in the relationship through continued high-level exchanges. I also had the honour to meet Minister Hayashi at Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 4 August 2022 on the sidelines of the 29th Ministerial Meeting of ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Today we continued our discussions from that meeting.

Also Read: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto to visit Japan

I had a very productive discussion with His Excellency Hayashi this morning on how the two countries can further deepen our bilateral cooperation. We have agreed to further deepen and enhance our mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, human resource development and exchange, IT, tourism and agriculture.

We have also jointly agreed to explore the possibility of working together on targeted programs with higher impact in the domains of solarization, desalination and water purification and housing and infrastructure rebuilding in the floods affected areas in Pakistan. In addition, the two side have agreed to conduct the language skill assessment tests for Japanese language in Pakistan to facilitate movement of the skilled workforce.

We have identified import of young Pakistani skilled human resource to Japan and their language training to be a prime area of cooperation. We also deliberated on investments and joint ventures by Japanese enterprises in Pakistan.

During my visit, I will also interact with private sector, local media as well as think-tanks to further broaden our engagement. I believe that both sides need to stay engaged at all levels to further positive dialogue and continue exploring more avenues of cooperation.

Once again, Excellency Hayashi, I would like to pay my gratitude for your hospitality and would like to invite you to visit Pakistan at your convenience to further our discussions.