JERUSALEM (Feb. 16)
Japan’s new ambassador to Israel presented his credentials to President Chaim Herzog on Wednesday and expressed his government’s “deep appreciation” of Israel’s decision to send Herzog to Tokyo for the funeral of Emperor Hirohito of Japan on Feb. 23.
That decision has been widely criticized by Israelis because Hirohito ruled Japan when it was allied with Nazi Germany and fascist Italy in World War II.
But those arguments were overridden by Japan’s potential economic importance to Israel.
Israel’s trade with Japan has lagged mainly because of Japan’s greater economic interest in the Arab world.