NEW YORK (Dec. 16)
Several national Jewish organizations have joined forces to counter Japan’s adherence to the Arab boycott of Israel. The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, American Jewish Committee and American Jewish Congress established the “American Steering Committee on Freedom of Trade with Israel,” to monitor the Arab boycott.
U.S. State Department officials have confronted Japanese officials about the boycott but were informed that the issue is a non-governmental matter, according to the “Boycott Report” published by the AJCongress.
Representatives of the Steering Committee told members of the U.S. Congress that Japan is consistently loyal to the Arab boycott. In 1985, Japan’s trade with Israel amounted to only one-tenth of one percent of its total exports and imports. Japan purchased last year $200 million of Israeli goods, 70 percent of which were cut diamonds.
Japanese companies are reportedly hesitant to import Israeli goods. A Japanese purchaser of Israeli potash recently cut off its imports citing the “diplomatic reasons” for the break, according to the Boycott Report.
AUTO FIRMS WON’T SELL TO ISRAEL
But Japan’s major exporters, notably the auto manufacturing giants of Toyota and Nissan, refuse to sell to Israel. Additionally, Mitsubishi, Itoh, Nippon Steel and Hitachi all avoid trade with Israel, the Boycott Report stated.
Sanyo, Sharp and National too capitulate to Arab pressure by refraining from direct trade with Israel. These companies also refuse to set up offices in Israel.
Japanese airliners do not land in Israel and Japanese ships do not dock in Israeli harbors. Japanese banks won’t finance trade with Israel and Japanese tourists prefer to spend their vacations elsewhere in the Middle East, the Boycott Report said.
Japan continues to shun Israel in practically all aspects of economic exchange despite U.S Congressional assurances that most other industrialized nations, including the People’s Republic of China, trade freely with Israel without repercussions in their business in the Arab world.