Israel, Japan to consider homeland security cooperation

Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor Ehud Olmert told "Globes" he discussed cooperation on sensitive matters with Japan's Minister of Defense.

Prospects of the first-ever cooperation between Israel and Japan in defense and homeland security exports emerged today during a visit by Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor Ehud Olmert in Tokyo. Olmert told "Globes" that he had discussed cooperation on matters, which he described as sensitive, with Japanese Minister of Defense Yoshinori Ohno. Olmert said that he could not disclose the content of the talks, but added that a chance of cooperation on these matters had been created.

Olmert added that he would propose at a meeting with the Japanese prime minister tomorrow that Japan take an active part in the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Olmert said, Im proposing that Japan be not merely an external onlooker, but become an active player in creating economic change in the Middle East.

Israeli Ambassador to Japan Eli Cohen noted that Japan did not buy defense equipment and technology from Israel, both because of its sympathy for Palestinian interests and its commitment to defense procurement from the US. Olmert and Ohno agreed, however, to set up work teams to consider in which defense and security products and fields Israel and Japan could cooperate.

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on April 11, 2005

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