Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Tehran on an official visit on Wednesday, becoming the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit Iran in 40 years.

The last head of the Japanese government who visited Iran was Takeo Fukuda in 1978 - before the overthrow of the Shah and the formation of Iran. Thus, Abe became the first Japanese prime minister to visit the Islamic Republic, Kyodo News reported

Abe was met by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at Mehrabad airport. During the visit, which will last from June 12 to 14, the Prime Minister of Japan will have meetings with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

The visit of the Prime Minister of Japan is taking place in the context of exacerbation of relations between the two partners of Tokyo - Tehran and Washington, which is taking place against the backdrop of a tightening of the anti-Iranian American United States and growing military tensions.

As the Secretary General of the Cabinet of Ministers of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, noted, the visit is also timed to the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Tokyo and Tehran. Abe said that during his visit to Iran he expects to strengthen friendly ties with this country.

The Japanese PM held phone talks with senior management of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and with US President Donald Trump ahead of his visit.