Whereas Iran appreciates Japan’s friendship, it’s also cautious of Tokyo’s shut relationship with Washington, mentioned Koichiro Tanaka, an skilled on Iran at Keio College. He mentioned that Tehran would possibly require a peace providing from Mr. Abe within the type of an illustration that he’s prepared to face as much as American sanctions.
Japan can be late to the sport. Regardless of mounting considerations within the worldwide neighborhood during the last decade about Iran’s conduct, Japanese officers selected to not take part within the negotiations that led to the 2015 deal to curb the nation’s nuclear ambitions.
Whereas that call created area for Tokyo to pursue an impartial coverage towards Tehran, it has additionally restricted Mr. Abe’s capacity to play a job in resolving disputes over the deal.
Yukio Okamoto, a former Japanese diplomat and coverage adviser to previous Japanese prime ministers, mentioned the world powers that sat on the desk with Iran for all these years may be inclined to “sneer” at Mr. Abe’s efforts, asking “why ought to he step into what we’ve been toiling over, as a newcomer.”
Nonetheless, Mr. Abe has little to lose.
If something, the journey may enhance his standing at dwelling because the nation heads into elections for the higher home of Parliament subsequent month. He desires to determine his legacy “by advancing Japan’s international and home agenda,” Mr. Okamoto mentioned, and the Tehran go to presents a possibility.
However whereas Mr. Abe has been an energetic advocate of Japan overseas, Mr. Okamoto added, he has “but to indicate the general public concrete options to a number of vital points, particularly with Russia and North Korea.”
The Japanese chief has sought to insert himself within the dispute over North Korea’s nuclear program, providing to fulfill with the nation’s chief with no preconditions. And he has aggressively courted the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, in an try to finish a decades-old territorial dispute over islands in Japan’s north.