From the conversation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev with Minoru Murofushi President of the company "Itochu" - Tokyo, residence of the President of Azerbaijan, February 24, 1998

Dear Mr. Murofushi,

I cordially welcome you and express my honour to meet with the head of the most prestigious oil company in Japan.

I express my gratitude to you for your views on the constant development of the Azerbaijani-Japanese cooperation and kind words about Azerbaijan. I remember our meeting in September, 1997 with pleasure. I came to Japan on an official visit at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Hashimoto. With a sense of satisfaction I can say that in Tokyo, hence I was in the land of the rising sun, until this moment, my visit has been very successful in terms of mutual understanding and friendship. I express my appreciation and pleasure of the direct involvement of 20 the most reputable companies from 12 countries, including "Itochu" in the implementation of the signed agreements on joint gas developments in the Azerbaijani Sector of the Caspian Sea, and appreciate the large opportunities of "Itochu" in establishing relations in other areas of our country, which has rich natural resources to further strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation. I am pleased that the branches of six Japanese companies opened in Baku and other authoritative companies of your country have also shown great interest in strengthening relations with Azerbaijan. I am confident that the cooperation of our country with "Itochu" will continue to develop more intensively. I listened attentively to the proposals of Mr. Murofushi on strengthening the relations between the two countries, I shall support the close cooperation of "Itochu" with Azerbaijan further on.