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Israel Tightens Asia Ties amid 'Wave of Islamization'


JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed a delegation of Japanese businessmen led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, saying Israel appreciated the opportunity "to reciprocate the warm hospitality" during his visit to Japan last May. 

During a joint weekend press conference in Jerusalem, the Japanese prime minister said his country is equally interested in expanding economic ties with Israel.

"Yesterday, I had the first meeting during this visit with Prime Minister Netanyahu and a meeting with the business delegations who have accompanied me also took place," Abe told reporters on Sunday.

"The three-year plan of Israel to strengthen our economic relationships is highly appreciated as a contribution to the development of our bilateral relations," he said.

Netanyahu is interested in expanding ties with Asian countries in part because of growing anti-Israel sentiment across Europe.  

"Western Europe is undergoing a wave of Islamisation, of anti-Semitism, and of anti-Zionism," Netanyahu said at Sunday's cabinet meeting. "It is awash in such waves, and we want to ensure that for years to come the State of Israel will have diverse markets all over the world."

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