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Japan proactive for Middle East peace

  • May 15, 2018
  • , Yomiuri , p. 7
  • JMH Translation

Since U.S. President Trump’s declaration last December of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Japan has maintained its proactive stance of being a mediator to realize Middle East peace between Israel and Palestine.


Early this month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited both Israel and Palestine and met separately with each leader. Abe was the first leader of a major nation who visited both Israel and Palestine after the declaration.


Abe told in his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, “I’m here to convey my resolve to play a proactive role for Middle East peace.” With Palestine having rejected U.S mediation, however, it is now more difficult to realize Middle East peace. Abe therefore thought Japan – a country which has maintained good relations with both Israel and Palestine – could help push for the Middle East peace process.


In fact, Japan launched in 2006 a concept of “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity,” aiming to help Palestine economically stand on its own and established an agro-industrial park in Palestine in collaboration with Israel, Palestine and Jordan. In February last year, Japan concluded an agreement with Israel to back Japanese companies making inroads into Israeli markets and investing in the country.


However, Abe’s approach to Israel and Palestine for promoting Middle East peace is based on the trust relationship with President Trump. As President Abbas utterly refuses the mediation of the U.S. in the peace process, there will likely be difficulties ahead for Middle East peace.

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