Japan's foreign minister may visit Iran next month: Nikkei

Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:46pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Japan's foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, may visit Iran as early as November, the first such visit in more than four years, in an attempt to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program, the Nikkei reported on Wednesday.

Japan, which has maintained friendly relations with Iran, is hoping to act as a mediator between Tehran and the West as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has shown willingness to negotiate the dispute, according to the newspaper.

World powers will press Iran on the second day of talks in Geneva on Wednesday for details of its proposal to resolve the decade-old nuclear dispute.

Rouhani and Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, met on September 26, when Rouhani told Abe that he expected the nuclear issue to be resolved soon, the Nikkei said.

Japan has sharply reduced crude oil imports from Iran in step with western economic sanctions against Tehran over its suspected nuclear weapons development, according to the Nikkei.

(Reporting by Rohit T. K. in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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