Japan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Masahiro Nisibori, has told the World Jewish Congress that, in the aftermath of the visit to Tokyo by Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat, “Japan has not in any way changed its policy toward the PLO” and it “does not intend to grant diplomatic status to the PLO office in Tokyo.”
Nisibori met privately with the WJC North American International Affairs Committee where the issue of Japan’s policies toward the Middle East were the subject of an in-depth exchange of views with leaders of two dozen national Jewish organizations at a session which lasted more than two hours.
Arafat’s visit to Japan in October was raised as a principal matter of concern. Nisibori said that the invitation for the visit was extended not by the government but by a group of Japanese parliamentarians. However, the occasion was viewed by the government “as a good opportunity to exchange views and clarify positions.”
URGED PLO TO RECOGNIZE ISRAEL
He added that in the meetings that took place, the Japanese Prime Minister and Foreign Minister “strongly urged that the PLO recognize Israel’s right to exist and emphasized the need to settle any problems by conducting talks in a peaceful manner without recourse to the threat or use of military force.” At these meetings, according to Nisibori, Arafat was urged to moderate the practices and policies of the PLO and Japan hoped that this would be a result of the Tokyo visit.
Nisibori noted that Japan “does not support the one-sided recognition of the Palestinian people’s right of self-detemination.” Japan continued to insist that another principle must also be recognized, namely, “respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and the political independence of every state in the area,” he said.
When questioned as to whether he could therefore state on behalf of his government that there would be no possibility of diplomatic recognition of the PLO until such time that the PLO formally recognizes Israel’s right to exist, Nisibori said that his response was “definitely in the affirmative.”
POSITION ON ARAB-ISRAEL QUESTION
In outlining his country’s position on the Arab-Israeli question, Nisibori made three points: First, peace in the Middle East must be just, lasting and comprehensive; second, such a peace must be based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and with recognition of legitimate Palestinian rights including “the right of self-determination” and finally, consideration must be given to the legitimate security requirements in the region, including Israel, and to the aspirations of all the peoples in the region.
Nisibori also noted “Japan supports the Camp David agreements as a first step toward achievement of peace in the Middle East,” and seeks successful continuity of the peace process.
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