Israeli Officials: Japan Offers to Host Peace Summit With Netanyahu, Abbas and Kushner

Israeli officials say initiative depends on American agreement, which has yet to be given ■ Japanese embassy in Tel Aviv denies report

Prime Minister Bnejamin Netanyahu meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Tokyo, Japan, May 12, 2014.
Kobi Gideon / GPO

Israeli officials on Tuesday confirmed reports that Japan offered to host Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting that would include an American negotiation team headed by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump.

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However, the officials said the initiative depends on American agreement, which has yet to be given. The Japanese embassy in Tel Aviv denied the report.

Earlier Tuesday, Tal Shalev of the Walla news website reported that Japan’s foreign minister, Taro Kono, had raised the offer of a four-way meeting with Netanyahu and Abbas during his respective visits to Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Neither Netanyahu nor Kono mentioned the summit offer in their brief statements on Tuesday. Still, Netanyahu stated on Monday night, “We both live in challenging regions, but we’re committed to the pursuit of prosperity, security and peace, and I think it’s easier for any one of us to achieve it with the help of the other.” Kono said: “I think the bilateral relationship is expanding. Specially, the number of the Japanese companies in Israel has doubled in the last three years and the investment, 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.

The Japanese foreign minister added, “We’re going to be celebrating the 70th year of the foundation of Israel. And I hope we take this opportunity to strengthen the bilateral relationship into the next level.”