Dinner Meeting between Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Ehud Barak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Israel

February 16, 2012
Japanese

(Photo)Dinner Meeting between Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Ehud Barak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Israel

At 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, February 16, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs, had a meeting of approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes with Mr. Ehud Barak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Israel. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

  1. Minister Gemba noted that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Israel, and stated that he hoped to further deepen bilateral cooperation. He also expressed his gratitude for the provision of cooperation by Israel after the Great East Japan Earthquake, including the dispatch of a medical assistance team. Furthermore, he expressed feelings of outrage regarding the recent attacks against Israeli people including diplomats, in reference to his announcement of condemnation for these acts.

  2. Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Barak stated that he too hoped to deepen cooperation in many fields, including security. He commented that the people of the world had been moved by the self-restraint of the Japanese people at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and noted that he personally had instructed that support be provided to Japan.

  3. In addition, regarding the Iranian nuclear issue, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Barak remarked that allowing Iran to possess nuclear weapons would not just destabilize Israel but the entire region, and for this reason it was important that the international community cooperate on stringent measures. In response, Minister Gemba said that Japan shares the grave concerns of the international community with regard to the Iranian nuclear issue, and that Japan would continue to work with the international community based on “the dual-track approach” of dialogue and pressure. Furthermore, he pointed out that a military option would only give excuses to Iran, and told Israel to be cautious as it would invite wide-spread anti-Israeli feelings among Arabs, thereby posing an extreme danger Israel. He noted the importance of resolving this issue in a diplomatic and peaceful manner by implementing effective pressures.
    • (*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)
(END)