Japan to send vice-minister to Iran to build economic ties

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan is sending a senior trade and industry official to Iran along with executives from the oil, gas and other industries after a landmark agreement reached on the country's disputed nuclear programme.

The agreement paved the way for a relaxation of sanctions and international delegations are now flocking to Teheran seeking business in the biggest economy to rejoin the global trading and financial system since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Daishiro Yamagiwa, vice-minister of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, will visit Teheran and meet top government officials on Aug 8 and 9, the ministry said in an emailed statement on Friday.

Yamagiwa will convey Japan's strong desire to quickly normalise economic relations once sanctions are lifted, the ministry said.

Italy last week was the latest country to send a government minister to Teheran to hold talks.

Senior government ministers from France, Germany and Serbia have been among those making the trek since the July 14 accord, which raised the prospect of banking and trade sanctions on Iran being lifted, possibly by the end of this year.

Last month Iran outlined plans to rebuild its main industries and trade relations following the nuclear agreement with world powers, saying it was targeting oil and gas projects worth US$185 billion (S$256 billion) by 2020.