Toshiba Denies Boycott Compliance, Says It’s All for Selling to Israel

Toshiba, the giant Japanese electronics firm, has denied charges it supports the Arab boycott of Israel and said it is committed to doing business there, the World Jewish Congress reported Wednesday.

The group released a copy of an Aug. 19 letter that a Toshiba executive sent to the Israeli Embassy in Tokyo, which says the firm is “committed to direct involvement in the promotion and sales of our products in Israel.”

The letter was signed by Taizo Nishiburo, Toshiba’s general manager of overseas operation promotion. It was written in response to a report released by the WJC in March about Japanese complicity with the Arab boycott.

The 22-page report had cited Israeli Foreign Ministry officials who charged that Toshiba was one of the major Japanese corporations that “refuse any business dealings with Israel.”

The report said Toshiba had refused to sell mail-sorting equipment to Israel’s Ministry of Communications.

Rejecting the charge it boycotted Israel, Toshiba said in the letter that it views the Israeli market as “a sophisticated and increasingly important market for its products.”

It said Toshiba “intends to build on this base and to further expand the marketing of its products in Israel.”

The WJC welcomed “Toshiba’s long-sought assurances,” which “follow in the footsteps of the Japanese auto companies Toyota and Nissan, who announced this year that they would begin selling cars to the Jewish state for the first time.”

The WJC said the policy change by leading Japanese firms leaves South Korea as the industrialized state most compliant with the Arab boycott.

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