DFM Ayalon lays a wreath at the Hiroshima memorial and says: "In order to prevent another Hiroshima, the international community must put an immediate stop to Iran’s nuclear program."
Communicated by the Bureau of Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon
Today (Wednesday 17th November), Deputy Foreign Minister became the highest-level Israeli official to lay a wreath at the Hiroshima memorial. At the memorial, the Deputy Foreign Minister said: “In order to prevent another Hiroshima, the international community must put an immediate stop to Iran’s nuclear program. The world cannot be complacent about a nuclear Iran and must do whatever is necessary to prevent it."
Ayalon was accompanied by the Chair of the Japan-Israel Parliamentary Friendship League, MK Shai Hermesh, and Israel’s ambassador to Japan, Mr. Nissim Ben Sheetrit. In his address, Ayalon honored the memory of the victims and said that mankind should swear “Never again”. He added that it is crucial to prevent extremist regimes such as Iran from achieving military nuclear capability, which would threaten world security. During his visit, the Deputy Foreign Minister met with the mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba, and discussed with him initiatives to raise global awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons proliferation.
The ceremony at Hiroshima came at the end of Ayalon’s four-day visit to Japan, during which he met with State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Yutaka Banno, the Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for the Middle East Yutaka Iimura, and the Head of the Opposition and LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki. Ayalon and his Japanese hosts discussed ways to expand bilateral cooperation between the two nations in the areas of commerce, economy, culture, and science and technology, with an emphasis on alternative energy and the environment. They also discussed boosting cooperation between their respective humanitarian aid agencies.
The Deputy Foreign Minister praised Japan for its stand vis-à-vis Iran and for additional steps Japan is taking beyond UNSC Resolution 1929. Ayalon stressed the importance of expanding the sanctions against Iran and the need to examine further measures as necessary, in order to convince Iran to cease its military nuclear program.
Ayalon briefed the Japanese officials on strategic developments in the Middle East, with an emphasis on Iran’s activities that continue to undermine stability in the region. The peace process was discussed and Ayalon thanked Japan for its contribution to promoting regional peace and stability.