Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his Israeli counterpart that his country still supports the 2015 deal to curb Iran’s nuclear powers, according to diplomatic sources.Abe, who visited Israel and the Palestinian territories this week, met with Netanyahu at his office in Jerusalem on Wednesday along with a delegation of Japanese businessmen.
The meeting was held just two days after Netanyahu revealed that Israel had a cache of some 100,000 documents proving Iran had a nuclear weapons program called Project Amad from 1999 to 2003.According to Netanyahu’s office, he told Abe about the archive and “said that Iran had preserved all of the plans. He added that whoever does not want nuclear weapons does not prepare plans and certainly does not preserve them.”Netanyahu explained to Abe that the JCPOA was “a bad agreement based on Iran’s lies and deceit.”The two men discussed North Korea in the shadow of a possible summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Supporters of the Iran deal fear that if the US scraps the agreement, it could harm diplomatic efforts to rein in North Korea’s nuclear program.Abe also spoke with Netanyahu about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the importance of a two-state solution. Japan holds that Israel must rein in its settlement activity.In a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, Abe said that his country does not plan to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, until there is a two-state resolution to the conflict.Abe is only the third Japanese prime minister to visit Israel since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1954. He is the first prime minister to have visited Israel twice while in office. He was last here in 2015.Netanyahu visited Japan in 2014, becoming the second prime minister, after Ehud Olmert, to do so.“This is your second visit to Israel. My most recent visit to Japan was spectacular. We see the tremendous growth in Japanese investments of Israel, Israeli investments in Japan, the technology opportunities. This is a great partnership, and we’ll make it even better,” Netanyahu told Abe.He replied by inviting Netanyahu to Japan. “I do hope that Mr.Prime Minister will come back to Japan in the near future,” Abe said.Their talks also focused on increased economic ties. The two men spoke of advancing the issue of direct flights between Japan and Israel.Abe said, “I am very happy to note that there has been the dramatic increase in the Japanese investment to Israel under my administration.”He added, “I do hope that we’ll further investment development between the two sides.”
PM Netanyahu Meets Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, May 2, 2018 (GPO)