FM to Arabs: Learn from Japan

Foreign Minister says Israel's neighbors should imitate Japan, which tries to solve disputes with its neighbors peacefully.

Gil Ronen , | updated: 19:13

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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met his Japanese counterpart Katzuya Okada in Tokyo Tuesday. The two reportedly discussed both “regional” and “global security” issues.

Lieberman said that in order to advance the “peace process” with the Palestinian Authority, direct talks should be held between the sides, and not indirect ones – a reference to the current US-mediated “proximity talks.” He added that Israel's neighbors would do well to learn from Japan, which also has a territorial dispute with its neighbors but does not threaten violence against the neighbors, cooperates with them in various areas and attempts to solve disagreements peacefully.

Lieberman and Okada discussed ways of improving economic cooperation between the two countries. The Israeli minister suggested that the nations' next bilateral work group meeting – scheduled for year's end – be devoted to development of alternative energy sources. The idea elicited a positive response from Okada. Scientific and technological cooperation, including on space projects, were also discussed.

Lieberman thanked Okada for Japan's support for welcoming Israel into the OECD.

Earlier today, Lieberman met with about 30 directors and senior managers in Japanese conglomerates to discuss economic ties between the two countries.