Japan urged Iran on Monday not to provide Russia with weapons for its war against Ukraine, the government said, amid criticism from Western countries over Tehran's suspected supply of drones to Moscow for use in the prolonged military campaign.

During a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian in Tokyo, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi called on Iran to take "constructive responses" to the war, with the two agreeing to continue "close communication" over issues affecting the Middle East, Japan's Foreign Ministry said.

Their talks came as Western nations have alleged that Iran has been giving Russia military assistance such as drones and ammunition, while Tokyo aims to leverage its traditional friendship with Tehran to help end the war.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi (R) and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian shake hands in Tokyo on Aug. 7, 2023. (Kyodo)

Japan holds this year's presidency of the Group of Seven nations, which have maintained economic sanctions on Russia over its war against its neighbor since February last year.

Hayashi also expressed "serious concern" about the expansion of Iran's nuclear activities, while calling for its "complete and unconditional cooperation" with the International Atomic Energy Agency, in light of a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal that Japan supports, the ministry said.

Iran had agreed with six major powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- to curb its nuclear programs in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

But negotiations have been at a stalemate since then U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew his nation from the accord in 2018.

Later on Monday, Amir Abdollahian also met with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Amir Abdollahian, who has been here since Sunday, is the first Iranian foreign minister to visit Japan since Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi assumed office in August 2021.

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