Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso is on a official three-day visit Israel aimed at strengthening Japan’s ties and involvement in the Middle East.

 Japanese FM on official visit to Israel


Israeli FM Tzipi Livni and Japanese FM Taro Aso hold a press conference in Jerusalem, August 14 (Photo: Reuters)

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Mr. Taro Aso, Foreign Minister of Japan, will arrive tomorrow (Monday, 13 August 2007) on a three-day official visit to Israel.

This visit is a consequence of the Japanese government’s desire to strengthen its ties and involvement in the Middle East. Japan believes that joint initiatives such as the "Corridor of Peace and Prosperity" – an agro-industrial project for the production and marketing of Palestinian-produced goods in the East – in which Japan has partnered with Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, will increase trust and stability in the region.

The Japanese Foreign Minister will meet with his counterpart Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. The guest will also visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

On Wednesday, August 15, a four-way ministerial meeting on the Japanese project "Corridor of Peace and Prosperity" will be held in Jericho with the participation of visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso, who initiated the meeting, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdelelah Al-Khatib, and head of the Palestinian negotiating department, Saeb Erekat.

Discussions will focus on Middle Eastern and economic issues, as well as on means of promoting bilateral relations.

FM Aso’s first visit to Israel, a reciprocal visit to FM Livni’s visit to Japan last January, symbolizes the friendly relations between the two countries.