Jerusalem, August 26, 2003

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom meets with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met today (26 Aug) in Tokyo with the Foreign Minister of Japan, Yoriko Kawaguchi.

Ms. Kawaguchi expressed her profound sorrow over the recent terrorist attack in Jerusalem, and extended her wishes for a speedy recovery to the families of the victims. The Japanese minister informed Mr. Shalom that she had spoken about this issue with PA Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, telling him that the Palestinians must fight terrorism. She added that she views the Road Map as crucial, and that it must not be allowed to fail.

Foreign Minister Shalom replied that it is essential that Japan demand the Palestinians fulfill their obligations. "They are murdering children and infants," Shalom said. "It is incomprehensible that the Hamas members who dispatched these terrorists should enjoy immunity. We will do everything necessary to protect the lives of our civilians. The Government of Israel will carry out its duty toward its citizens," Shalom stated, adding, "We must all fight this global terrorism."

Shalom told his Japanese counterpart about his telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan following the bombing of UN Headquarters in Baghdad, in which he suggested that the UN General Assembly hold a special conference dedicated to the free world’s war against terrorism.

Minister Shalom stated that Hamas is a terrorist organization in all its components, and that no differentiation should be made between its "military" arm and its "political" arm.

Mr. Shalom briefed his Japanese counterpart on the issue of Iran, its nuclear program, and its sponsorship of terrorism. He stated that "Japan must condition its signature upon economic projects with Iran on that country’s adoption of the ‘Additional Protocol, " adding that "the Iranian enrichment of uranium must be stopped, as it will lead to the completion of their nuclear fuel cycle."

"As a member of the IAEA Board of Governors, and on the basis of its unique historical experience, Japan recognizes the crucial nature of international activity in this realm," Shalom said.

Mr. Shalom also requested that Japan review its established voting pattern in the UN on issues related to Israel and the Middle East, stating that "at a time in which there is broad consensus on the need for the Palestinians to cease their anti-Israeli incitement, the political incitement against Israel in international forums should also be brought to an end."

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi replied that she would consider the matter in a positive light.