Abbas meets Japan’s Abe in Tokyo ahead of new emperor’s enthronement
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Abbas meets Japan’s Abe in Tokyo ahead of new emperor’s enthronement

At start of three-day visit, PA president and Japanese PM discuss ‘latest developments pertaining to the Palestinian cause and the region’ as well as bilateral relations

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meeting on October 21, 2019 in Tokyo. (Credit: Wafa)
PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meeting on October 21, 2019 in Tokyo. (Credit: Wafa)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Tokyo on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s enthronement of Japanese Emperor Naruhito, and met several high-ranking Japanese officials, the official PA news site Wafa reported.

Abbas and his entourage met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Taro Kono.

“His excellency discussed the latest developments pertaining to the Palestinian cause and the region with the Japanese prime minister and bilateral relations between their countries,” Wafa reported, adding that Abbas thanked Abe for Japan’s “positions and efforts to support the Palestinian people.”

Tokyo has stated that it supports a two-state solution and has called on Israel and the Palestinians to participate in direct negotiations to achieve that end.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono meeting on October 21, 2019 in Tokyo. (Credit: Wafa)

Since 1993, Japan has provided the Palestinians with aid valued at nearly two billion dollars, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

In addition to Abbas, senior ministers and members of royal families from around the world are expected to attend Naruhito’s enthronement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly planned to attend the enthronement as well but later decided not to travel to Tokyo amid the ongoing political stalemate in Jerusalem that has left him unable to form a governing coalition.

The Prime Minister’s Office had never officially confirmed the trip, but Hebrew reports said the Foreign Ministry along with the Israeli Embassy in Tokyo had both been preparing for the premier’s visit.

Abbas will be in Japan for three days, according to Wafa. He last visited Tokyo in February 2016 when he also met with Abe.

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