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Japan discontinues the measures taken in response to the nuclear testing by Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Oct 26 (NNI): Japan has lifted sanction it imposed on Pakistan in the wake of its nuclear tests in 1998.
A press release issued here Friday by the Japanese Embassy said that Japan has decided to discontinue the measures that it took on 13, 14 and 29 May 1998, in response to the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan. It consisted of the freezing of grant aid to new projects, except emergency and humanitarian aid and Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects, the freezing of Yen loans for new projects, and cautiously examining the loan programmes to the two countries by multinational development banks.
This decision was taken , inter alia, on various considerations. These considerations include the fact that Japan has repeatedly expressed its position to both India and Pakistan regarding nuclear disarmament and proliferation issues. Consequently, both India and Pakistan have been maintaining their moratoria on further nuclear tests for the past three years and declaring their intention to continue to do so. Furthermore, both countries have stated that they will ensure strict controls on nuclear and missile related goods and technologies. To that extent, Japan’s measures have obtained due achievement.
The second consideration was that Japan highly values the efforts by the two countries to contribute to strengthening the international coalition against terrorism. It is vitally important that Pakistan remains stable and cooperative with the international society in this combat against terrorism. In this context, Japan recognizes the genuine need to support Pakistan, particularly in view of Pakistan’s difficult domestic situation.
Following the decision to discontinue the measures mentioned above, Japan will examine specific plans of Official Development Assistance with regard to both countries. Japan will continue to urge both India and Pakistan to make progress in the field of nuclear non-proliferation, including the signing of the CTBT. Should the situation concerning nuclear non-proliferation deteriorate in India and/or Pakistan, Japan will consider taking appropriate measures including the restoration of the discontinued measures. It was also announced today that the Government of Japan was looking forward to the visit of His Excellency Mr. Shaukat Aziz, Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, to Japan as the Special Envoy of President Musharraf from 31 October to 3 November. Following the telephonic meeting between Prime Minister Koizumi and President Musharraf on 17 October, Minister Aziz is expected to convey President Musharraf’s letter to Prime Minister Koizumi and to engage in a broad exchange of views with Prime Minister Koizumi and other important personalities in Japan. --NNI

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