The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is now preparing for a visit to Iran but he has some small issues to take care first. Mr Abe, a strong supporter and some say a friend of President Donald Trump, is now working out details of his relationship with Tehran and Washington. One one hand the PM of Japan is working with the US on a strategy of security in the Far East, while at the same time has a strong business relationship with Iran.
This is now an issue as President Trump has started to apply pressure to allies who are trading and buying oil products from Iran. And it is this strategy of energy independence that Iran has been working on for four decades especially given that the US has seen relations with Iran fade in the past decade.
We think that Japan could be a neutral country and supporter of change in Iran. Japan could help Europe and the US efforts to find common ground with Tehran. In fact, in our view, Japan could play a very important role in dealing with many countries that the US and EU, especially the US, has strained relations with. Japanese people are by nature, diplomatic and can act as a partner to the US – especially with Iran.
Now that Trump has pulled out of the multinational Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the situation for Japan has changed as well. However, on a recent visit from US President Trump the President made it clear that he welcomes the efforts of PM Abe and Japan with regards to an Iran relationship and does not seek regime change for Iran. This softened tone has given Japan a green light to step up efforts for communication with Iran. Hence the visit from PM Abe might be a new line of communication for now only Japan but the US Administration.