Author: Miyata Osamu
Categories: In-Depth with Nippon.com
On July 14, 2015, an agreement was reached in negotiations between Iran and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council concerning the end of its nuclear energy program, and preparations began for the lifting of international economic sanctions. Japan, which has participated in the sanctions since 2006, has started paving the way as well. The restoration of economic relations with Iran, home to the fourth-largest volume of petroleum deposits and reportedly the largest volume of natural gas reserves on the planet, would be enormously important to Japan, which could acquire a reliable petroleum supplier and thereby help ensure its own energy security.
Working at the State Department taught me about the importance of exchange programs and the incredible perspective they can bring to foreign policy issues. But it wasn’t until I made the pilgrimage to Japan that I actually experienced – and fully appreciated – the value of such programs.