Olmert visits Japan

Ehud Olmert began an official visit to Japan.

The Israeli prime minister took off for Tokyo on Sunday for five days of talks with Japanese government and business leaders.

Aides said Olmert would work to boost bilateral trade and enlist Japan’s support in efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear program. He also was expected to raise North Korea’s alleged arms dissemination in the Middle East. Pyonyang’s military activities are a source of concern for Japan and other Asian powers.

In Tokyo, Olmert will likely cross paths with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is also making an official visit. Israeli officials said they expected Olmert and Rice to hold talks on Iran and other Middle East security issues.

The last Israeli prime minister to visit Japan was Benjamin Netanyahu in 1997.

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