November 1, 2017 — Tokyo
A 14-member AJC leadership delegation just concluded a three-day visit to Japan.
The group, led by AJC CEO David Harris, had private meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono.
“We are here to reaffirm our longstanding friendship and to support the U.S.-Japanese relationship,” Harris said. “We come at this particular moment to show that AJC stands in solidarity with Japan during a dangerous and unpredictable time in Northeast Asia. As has been the case for the last three decades and more, AJC will continue to be an energetic voice advocating for American international engagement and a robust transpacific relationship.”
Kentaro Sonoura, Special Advisor to Prime Minister Abe, welcomed the delegation for a private lunch. AJC hosted Sonoura for a breakfast on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September, and, in June, he addressed the AJC Global Forum in Washington, D.C., bringing a special message from the prime minister.
The visit also included discussions with U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty, as well as a dinner hosted by Israeli Deputy Chief of Mission Irit Savion-Waidergorn and attended by Japanese politicians and diplomats.
The principal topics of discussion during the visit included: (i) the Japan-U.S. bilateral relationship; (ii) growing Japan-Israel ties; (iii) the North Korean nuclear and missile threat; and (iv) Middle East regional issues, including Iran’s ongoing links with North Korea. Additionally, President Trump’s upcoming — and much-anticipated — visit to Japan was a frequent topic of conversation.
During the mission, Harris was invited to deliver an address on U.S. foreign policy in the new era to diplomats and scholars at the Japanese Institute of International Affairs, as well as to a group of over 100 faculty and students at the prestigious Tokyo University. The Japanese edition of AJC’s “The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Brief Guide for the Perplexed” was distributed at both events.
AJC has been uniquely engaged with Japan through its pioneering Asia Pacific Institute (API), which has organized dozens of visits to Japan in the last 30 years and stayed in close contact with Japanese diplomats stationed in the U.S. The institute is directed by Shira Loewenberg and represented in Tokyo by Jerry Rosenberg.