Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned that military showdown with Iran will affect the global peace and stability. Tensions rose in the Middle East after the US assassinated top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani in ariel strikes in Baghdad.
His comments came at the start of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe five-day trip to the Middle East as part of Tokyo’s efforts to reduce tensions in the region. The trip takes Abe to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, countries which Japan sees as significant players in stabilizing the situation in the Middle East.
The visit came ahead of Tokyo’s deployment of Self-Defense Forces to the region to secure a safe passage of shipping lanes by enhancing intelligence-gathering capabilities. “Japan will take its own initiative to firmly conduct peace diplomacy to ease tensions and stabilize the situation in the region,” Abe told journalists.
The Japanese PM discussed regional tensions during an hour-long meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in northwestern Al-Ula province, according to foreign ministry spokesman Masato Ohtaka.
Any military confrontation in the region that includes a country like Iran will have an impact not only on peace and stability in the region but the peace and stability of the whole world,” Abe said, according to Ohtaka. Abe called “on all relevant countries to engage in diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions”, Ohtaka added.
The spokesman said the two leaders agreed on working closely on maritime security in the region and discussed Tokyo’s decision to send a destroyer for intelligence activities along with two P-3C patrol aircraft to the Middle East. Japan, however, will not join a US-led coalition in the region.
Tokyo has walked a fine line in balancing its key alliance with Washington and its longstanding relations and interests with Tehran. Ohtaka said that Abe stressed the importance of a continuous and stable Saudi oil supply to Japan.