Comment-Taro Kono’s Visit

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono will undertake a visit to Pakistan on 3-4 January. As no Japanese foreign minister visited Pakistan after 2009, this will be considered a crucial move toward forging a strong diplomatic posture between the two countries.  Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada visited Pakistan on 12 October 2009. There were no such level exchanges between the two countries in the past nine years. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar visited Japan in 2012. Overall, the history of bilateral foreign minister level exchanges had not been so enthusiastic between the two countries that needs to be strengthened, given the fast changing regional scenario in South Asia and East Asia.

Apart from foreign minister level exchanges, high level visits at Government level have also been curtailed. The last high-level visit from Pakistan was under taken in February 2011 when President Asif Ali Zardari visited Japan. The last visit by the Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was undertaken in April 2005. There is dire need to revive the momentum of high-level exchanges between the two countries.

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