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Israel, Japan share concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions

Israel, Japan share concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions

Japan and Israel shared their concerns Wednesday about Iranian nuclear programs, agreeing to cooperate to prevent Tehran from going nuclear.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he and his Japanese counterpart, Yasuo Fukuda, also oppose global weapons proliferation.
Olmert, in Tokyo for a four-day visit, told a joint news conference that he "expressed my firm appreciation to Japan's firm stance against Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and its contribution for the global campaign against nuclear proliferation."
Israel, the U.S. and some of its other allies oppose Iran's expansion of its enrichment facilities, saying it could lead to the development of nuclear weapons.
Fukuda expressed hopes for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians and said, "Japan will provide its utmost assistance toward realizing Middle Eastern peace" by the end of 2008.
The two leaders also agreed to cooperate to achieve economic development of a land corridor linking the West Bank and Gaza, separated by 40 kilometers (25 miles) of Israeli territory.
Olmert told a business forum Tuesday in Japan that his government was determined to end the decades-long conflict with the Palestinians, but that a peace deal wouldn't necessarily be concluded by the end-year target that he and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas set.
U.S. President George W. Bush oversaw a Mideast peace summit in November where he announced that Israel and the Palestinians would aim to achieve a comprehensive peace deal by the end of this year.
But disputes over contentious Israeli construction in east Jerusalem and the West Bank have been a drag on the talks. A key coalition partner also has threatened to quit Olmert's government and cost him his parliamentary majority if he agrees to cede part of Jerusalem, as the Palestinians demand.
Earlier Wednesday, Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura expressed concerns about the human rights conditions at Gaza, but the Israeli leader sought understanding about the escalating violence in the area, which sees daily rocket attacks on Israeli communities and regular Israeli military raids targeting the rocket squads.


Updated : 2021-05-15 09:11 GMT+08:00