Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has arrived in Tokyo for a four-day visit to Japan, responding to an invitation from the Japanese government. Upon his arrival, he was warmly received by Pakistan’s ambassador to Japan, officials from the Japanese foreign ministry, and members of the Pakistani community residing in Tokyo, according to a statement from the Foreign Office (FO).
This visit by the foreign minister signifies the revival of leadership-level contacts between Pakistan and Japan after a significant gap, as stated by the FO. During his visit, Bilawal is scheduled to hold delegation-level talks with his Japanese counterpart, Yoshimasa Hayashi. He will also have a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, as well as Japanese National Security Adviser Takeo Akiba.
In addition to the high-level meetings, Bilawal is expected to interact with senior officials and executives representing prominent Japanese businesses and entities involved in the import of Pakistani manpower to Japan, as mentioned in the FO statement. Furthermore, he will deliver a talk at the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), a renowned think tank in Japan.
The FO emphasized the longstanding relationship between Pakistan and Japan, characterized by warmth, cordiality, and shared views on various issues. Bilawal’s visit comes just four days after Foreign Secretary Dr. Asad Majeed Khan held Bilateral Political Consultations with his Japanese counterpart, Shigeo Yamada, in Tokyo, during which both sides expressed goodwill and warm wishes towards Pakistan.
Diplomatic ties between Japan and Pakistan were established in April 1952, and the relationship has continued to grow. In October 2019, President Arif Alvi attended the enthronement ceremony of Japanese Emperor Naruhito in Tokyo, further strengthening bilateral relations. Earlier that year, former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi visited Japan, resulting in agreements to explore cooperation in sectors such as human resource development, IT, tourism, and automobiles.
This visit holds significance as it builds upon previous high-level engagements between the two countries. Japan remains an important partner for Pakistan, and both sides are keen to enhance cooperation in various fields.