By staff and agency

Japan to make every effort to reduce regional tension: Shinzo Abe

July 22, 2019 - 19:53

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that Tokyo wants to make every effort to reduce tension between the United States and Iran in the region.

According to Reuters, Japanese media have said Washington’s proposal to boost surveillance of vital Middle East oil shipping lanes off Iran and Yemen could be on the agenda during a visit to Tokyo this week by U.S. national security adviser John Bolton.

Abe said that before making a decision on joining with the United States, Tokyo would like to fulfill what it sees as a unique role it has to play in reducing tension.

“We have a long tradition of friendship with Iran and I’ve met with its president any number of times, as well as other leaders,” Abe told a news conference after his coalition’s victory in a Sunday election for parliament’s upper house.

“Before we make any decisions on what to do, Japan would like to make every effort to reduce tensions between Iran and the United States,” he said.

Abe was in Iran on a two-day visit on June 12.

During a meeting with Abe on June 13, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed Trump as a person not worthy of exchanging messages. The Leader said Iran has “no trust” in the U.S. and will not at all “repeat the bitter experience” it gained from the negotiations that led to the conclusion of the 2015 nuclear deal, which Washington later ditched.

“Iran engaged in talks with the U.S. and the Europeans for some five or six years, and achieved a result. The Americans, however, breached a done deal,” said the Leader, emphasizing that “no wise man” would enter talks with a country that has reneged on all agreements.

During a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on June 12, Abe said he will use his country’s “utmost effort” to deescalate tension in the Persian Gulf and the wider Middle East region.

“Japan will use its utmost effort to reduce tension in the region,” he said.

“Increase in tensions in the region must be contained at any price, and Japan can play a quite constructive role in this regard,” the Japanese prime minister insisted.

“Peace and stability of the Middle East region is essential not only for the prosperity of this region, but also for the prosperity of the entire world,” Abe noted.

On the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka in June, Abe said that he is committed to make effort toward easing the situation in the Middle East and expressed concern over the recent tensions around Iran.

“While collaborating with the international community, I would like to make my efforts for relaxing the tension in the Middle East. That relaxation of tension would be very important for the peace and prosperity of the world. All leaders agreed on that ... It is not so easy, but we would like to play a role,” UrduPoint News quoted him as saying.


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