Japan's Abe Tells Netanyahu: Israel Must Curb Settlements, Won't Move Embassy to Jerusalem

In meeting with Netanyahu, Abe invites PM to Japan, says Tokyo still supports Iran deal ■ Japanese leader also met with Abbas

Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with Japanese Prim Minister Shinzo Abe on May 2, 2018.
חיים צח / לע"מ

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday and expressed his continued support for a two-state solution, intention not to move Japan's embassy to Jerusalem and desire that Israel restrain its settlement construction.

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Abe also said that Japan still supports the nuclear agreement with Iran, which it sees as a contribution to Middle East stability.

On Tuesday, Abe visited Ramallah, where he told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that American involvement in the peace process is critical.

Netanyahu briefed Abe on the material from Iran’s nuclear archive which Israel unveiled earlier this week. He said Iran has preserved all its nuclear plans, and that a country which didn’t want nuclear weapons wouldn’t have prepared these plans, much less preserved them.

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The Iranian nuclear deal, he continued, is a bad agreement based on Iranian lies and deceit.

Netanyahu also denounced Abbas’ remarks earlier this week, calling them anti-Semitic and saying they reveal the real reason why there is still no Israeli-Palestinian peace. In a speech to the Palestinian National Council on Monday, Abbas asserted that the Holocaust wasn’t caused by anti-Semitism, but by the Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.”

The two leaders also discussed developments in North Korea.

Abe invited Netanyahu for another visit to Japan, and said he was pleased that there had been a dramatic rise in Japanese investment in Israel under his government. Abe brought a delegation of businessmen with him to Israel, including many CEOs, and said he hoped they would have fruitful discussions with Israeli business leaders leading to further growth in bilateral investment.

Both leaders agreed to work toward instituting direct flights between Japan and Israel. The two governments signed an agreement on this issue back in 2016, but it has yet to be implemented.