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Abe to visit Middle East on Jan. 16-21 to play up “proactive pacifism”

  • 2015-01-12 15:00:00
  • , Sankei
  • Translation

(Sankei: January 12, 2015 – p. 3)


 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Palestinian territories on Jan. 16-21 to play up his proactive pacifism by resuming diplomacy that commands a bird’s-eye view. In Egypt on the first leg of his tour to the Middle East, Abe will deliver a speech on Japan’s foreign and security policy, in which he intends to announce Japan’s contribution to peace in the Middle East as well as to fight against terrorism following the terrorist attack on French weekly magazine headquarters and cooperation with various countries.


 This will be Abe’s fifth visit to the Middle East after the inauguration of his second cabinet.


 Moves for a “world revolution” by the Islamic State, an extreme group of Sunni Muslims controlling part of Syria and Iraq, seem to have caused the attacks on the French weekly magazine.


 In his meetings with the leaders of the Middle East, Abe plans to denounce the terrorism by saying, “Such a despicable act of terrorism is absolutely unacceptable.” He will then call on the four leaders for cooperation in preventing the extreme Islamic group’s terrorism.


 Peace talks between Israel and Palestine were suspended last April. In the middle of December last year, Israel launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip, which has been under Hamas’ de facto control. Hamas is an Islamic fundamentalist group.


 The Japanese government decided in a cabinet meeting on Jan. 9 to earmark 32 billion yen for a supplementary budget for fiscal 2014 to support efforts to stabilize the Middle East and North Africa, including measures against the Islamic State and humanitarian assistance for Palestinians.


 The government is making arrangements to extend more than 10 billion yen in new yen loans to Jordan, facilitating construction of infrastructure to accommodate refugees streaming into the country from Syria and other places.


 In Israel, Abe is expected to hold talks with President Benjamin Netanyahu in order to confirm their intention of strengthening cooperation on antiterrorism measures. He plans to give a speech at the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.


 Executives from about 30 Japanese companies will accompany Abe on his tour of Israel and Egypt and representatives from about 20 companies will accompany him to Jordan. Abe intends to attend a meeting of business people to call for expanding investment.

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