Sunday, April 6, 2014

Japan and Iran for the Environment

"We failed 40 years ago on environmental issues, then we changed our policies, then we had no ministry for the environment , now we have the best standards the Japanese Diet is very serious about environmental regulations". The were the words spoken by the speaker of Japan's parliament in our meeting on last Friday in Tokyo. Tokyo' s most beautiful attraction is Sakora or the cherry blossoms which lasts only one week and  coincided with our visit.
I was in Tokyo to sign a joint memorandum of cooperation on environment and to visit Japanese authorities. I had a chance to visit Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on the first day and to meet with top private sector leaders on environment technologies. I spoke at the Japan Naional Press Club and responded to questions from journalists. We signed the joint MOC in the Ministry Of Environment in Tokyo.That day was the 13 th of Nowroz or Nature Day in Iran. On the second day I had a visit to a very successful power plant with over 65% efficiency and to a water purification plant with many innovations.
 I then spoke at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation on "Iran in the Era of Moderation" , they were interested to hear about the recent developments in internal and foreign policy. I spoke about the resolve of the President to improve relations with the world and about environmental diplomacy. 
We had a meeting with Prime Minister Abe in which he stressed upon his agreement with Dr. Rouhani to work on the environment . 
I then spoke at the UN University in Tokyo on Environmental Challenges , I also mentioned the need for dialogue and understanding in today's world referring to the approach that a prominent Iranian philosopher Shahabedin Sohrevardi took to find common roots between Iranian , Greek and Islamic 
I also met with the Parliament speaker, the Foreign Affairs vice Minister and many private sector officials including the International Friendship Group. I had the  chance to ride an electric car as well. 
I believe that since environmental issues are of a global nature all members of the international community need to work to improve those conditions. 

Although the work load and meetings were very tight and we lost alot of sleep but we enjoyed our visit. I hope that this visit will  enhance collaboration and open way for better environmental conditions in Iran and more peace and security in our region.