Japan increases security ahead of PM Olmert's visit

Japan is deploying maximum-level security for Prime Minister Whud Olmert's visit this week, the Foreign Ministry said Sunday, amid intensifying tension in the Middle East since the assassination of a terror mastermind. Japan routinely provides heavy protection for the Israeli Embassy and its diplomats, but security for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's arrival Monday will be "at maximum levels," a ministry official in charge of the Middle East region said on condition of anonymity, citing internal policy. Olmert's planned to meet with Japanese government and business leaders and attend a business seminar during his four-day visit to promote bilateral trade and investment, the ministry official said. The security plans were not directly linked to the Feb. 12 assassination in Syria of Hizbullah operative Imad Mughniyeh, who was suspected of involvement in a series of terror attacks since the early 1980s targeting Israelis, Americans, French, Jews and others.