APP03-31 ISLAMABAD: August 31 - Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi talking to Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kazuyuki Nakane during a meeting at Foreign Office. APP photo by Saleem Rana

ISLAMABAD, Aug 31 (APP):Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Friday said Japan was an important development partner of Pakistan and invited it to invest in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) with an assurance to facilitate its investors in all sectors of economy.
He was talking to Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kazuyuki Nakane who called on him here at the Foreign Office. The Japanese State Minister congratulated Qureshi on his appointment and expressed earnest desire to further strengthen bilateral relations between Pakistan and Japan. Both countries expressed firm resolve to increase their high level interaction, a statement released from the Foreign Office said.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi acknowledged the economic assistance provided by Japan and emphasized the need to correct the balance of trade, which was currently heavily tilted in favor of Japan.
Both sides agreed to explore ways to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation. Nakane said the next round of Joint Government Business Dialogue would be held later this year. The Foreign Minister recalled his last visit to Japan and thanked the Japanese Government for holding the meeting of Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP) in Tokyo.
Foreign Minister briefed the Japanese delegation on role of Gwadar Port in enhancing economic development, regional connectivity, peace and prosperity of the region.
He was also appreciative of the setting up of weather surveillance radar project in Multan City and said it would enhance country’s capacity in disaster management. He also recalled and thanked the Japanese Government for their assistance to Pakistan in the aftermath of the devastating floods of 2010.
The two sides exchanged views on all-encompassing bilateral cooperation, including human resource development, education and science and technology. Foreign Minister suggested an institutional mechanism between the two countries for cooperation in the field of human resource development, and said it was a priority sector of this government.
Nakane also extended invitation to the Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi to visit Japan at his earliest convenience.