“We had useful talks with Japan’s State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry [Daishiro Yamagiwa] as well as CEOs of Japanese companies,” announced Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh after a meeting with a visiting Japanese trade delegation, reported Press TV.

Executives from 21 Japanese companies accompanied Yamagiwa who arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a two-day visit. Oil, gas and automotive industries were among these companies, most prominent among them was Inpex, Japan’s leading oil explorer.

Inpex, moreover, had invested12.5 billion yen ($153 million) in Azadegan oil field, only to abandon the project in 2010 due to the international community’s adoption of sanctions against Iran’s nuclear project.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has previously announced that Yamagiwa will convey Japan’s strong desire to quickly normalize economic relations once sanctions are finally lifted, reported Reuters.

Japan was originally one of 11 nations exempted from sanctions on countries that buy oil from Iran, said Azer News. In spite of taking up the international call for sanctions Iran has continued to be Japan’s third-largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia and the UAE.