12 December 2019 - 14 Kislev 5780 - י"ד כסלו ה' אלפים תש"פ
Japan’s Foreign Minister visits Israel E-mail

Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono met Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 25 December at the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.

During their exchanges they discussed their expanding bilateral relationships and also security and peace initiatives. “This is my first trip as Foreign Minister to Israel, although this is my fourth trip to Israel. I think the bilateral relationship is expanding. Especially, the number of Japanese companies in Israel has doubled in the last three years, and Japanese investment into Israel has increased 20 times in the last three years. So I think the relationship, bilaterally, is going very well, and we would like to continue this momentum,” commented Foreign Minister Kono.

Another development that was discussed was the proposal by Japan to initiate for fourparty talks. Israeli officials say Japan has proposed four-party talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders as well as a US official to try to restart the stalled Middle East peace negotiations.

Kono is the first cabinet member of a major nation to visit Jerusalem since US President Donald Trump announced that his country would recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Israeli officials say Kono proposed the talks in Tokyo at the initiative of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The talks would also include Trump senior advisor Jared Kushner. The timing of the talks and other details of Japan’s proposal are unknown.

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