Islamabad - The Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Takashi Kurai called the Federal Minister for Communications, Hafiz Abdul Karim, in his office on Wednesday.

The ambassador congratulated the federal minister on taking charge of the ministry and the two discussed matters of mutual interest.

The ambassador said that his country had great interest in the development of road infrastructure in Pakistan which was manifested by various highway projects initiated with the financial and technical assistance of Japan.

He informed the minister that the most important highway project currently underway with Japanese assistance (JICA) was Rakhi Gajj-Bewata section (N-70) connecting Punjab and Balochistan.

He said it was a state-of-the-art project involving unique design and advanced technology. He said that work on the 33km-long section commenced in 2016 and would be completed by July 2019 at a cost of Rs23 billion.

He said work on different sections of Indus Highway (N-55) had also been successfully completed.

The minister said that Pakistan and Japan enjoyed cordial relations and expressed hope that the relationship between the two countries would be further strengthened in future.

He said Pakistan always appreciated Japan’s cooperation in the development of road infrastructure and also proposed the dualisation of the section between Dera Ghazi Khan and Shikarpur along the Indus Highway. The Ambassador welcomed the proposal and assured the Minister of all possible cooperation in this regard.