9 June 2002

DM Ben-Eliezer meets Japanese FM Kawaguchi
(Communicated by the Defense Minister’s Media Adviser)

Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer met on Sunday, June 6, 2002 with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer said that Japan, which is the largest contributor to the Palestinian Authority ($600 million to date), should continue contributing and even enlarge its contributions, however it should contribute directly to projects that benefit the general Palestinian population, and not through the Palestinian Authority mechanisms.

Along with this, Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer emphasized that the main contribution that can be made by the international community is to create a united front that will present Arafat with the unequivocal demand to end his policy of terror. The Defense Minister stated that, as the leaders of the Western and Arab worlds are aware, Arafat is the main obstacle to progress in the diplomatic process, hence the need to form a "blocking wall" against his policies.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer expressed support for the Japanese request for more active involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and in the PA reform and election processes. However, the Defense Minister emphasized that there is no value in structural reforms in the PA without two basic reforms: cessation of the policy of terrorism, including the disbandment of the terror organizations, and the creation of a different mechanism to funnel funds in the Palestinian Authority in such a way that the money will not be used for terror.