Japan urges Israel to show restraint on Iran

 Foreign minister, visiting Jerusalem, asks for time to allow international sanctions to work

Japan urged Israel to be patient with Iran and allow time for international sanctions to take effect, Israel Radio reported Wednesday.

During his current visit to Jerusalem, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba met with his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Liberman, telling him an Israeli strike on Iran would not only cause turmoil and chaos in the region, but would also give the regime in Tehran an excuse to continue pushing its program forward. The international sanctions and leverage against Iran are unprecedented, he said, stressing that Japan shared Israel’s fear of a nuclear-armed Iran.

Netanyahu was still mourning his father, who passed away on Monday, and conversed with the Japanese foreign minister by phone instead of meeting him in person.

A similar message was relayed to Netanyahu several weeks ago by French presidential hopeful Francois Hollande. Hollande sent Laurent Fabius, the man slated to be foreign minister if the Socalists win the general elections, with a message seeking calm, stating that Hollande shared current French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s view that Iran must not be allowed to attain nuclear weapons.

Earlier this month, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Israel was prepared to strike the Islamic republic’s nuclear facilities in the spring.


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