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August 30, 2022 9:51 am

Israel and Japan Sign Accord for Closer Defense Cooperation Amid Iran Threat

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz signs defense cooperation agreement with Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada. Credit: Ariel Hermoni

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday called for a US-led international front against the Iranian nuclear threat as Israel and Japan signed an agreement for closer cooperation on defense technology and military equipment.

“Global stability is threatened by Iran’s nuclear program and malign activities,” Gantz told his Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada at the signing ceremony for an agreement on defense cooperation in Tokyo. “This threat requires a united international front led by the US,” he urged.

As Israel and Japan mark the 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties this year, Gantz emphasized that the “strategic partnership” between the two countries comes at a critical time in history, which requires the deepening of alliances. Gantz cited Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Iran’s nuclear program and terror activities among the challenges threatening global stability.

“Today, two ancient nations, powerful democracies and engines of innovation, embark on a joint venture: a partnership based on trust,” Gantz remarked.

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“Our countries share a common goal – defending our homes, and seeking peace and stability,” he added. “Cooperation between Israel and Japan in developing technology and sharing knowledge, will enable us to achieve our common vision.”

Hamada said that Japan’s efforts toward a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP), which promotes maritime order, rule of law and free trade, will contribute to the development of the Middle East, according to a statement by the Japanese defense ministry.

The two defense ministers agreed to continue to closely work together to uphold regional peace and stability.

“The global landscape is changing. And while positive and negative powers compete – it is vital for our nations to deepen ties,” Gantz said. “There are also positive changes in the world – opportunities to advance peace, such as the Abraham Accords.”

During the diplomatic visit, Gantz also met with senior Japanese government officials, including Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu, National Security Advisor Akiba Takeo, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa.

Gantz also held a meeting with US Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emmanuel.

“Japan and Israel are America’s first-class friends,” tweeted Emmanuel. “We are committed to achieving greater US-Japan-Israel cooperation. Together, we are stronger, safer, and more secure when united.”



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