Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas came to Japan last Thursday, starting his trip by visiting Miyagi prefecture, one of the areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th last year. Before moving on to Tokyo, he also made a stop at the flooded Sendai Airport, where he was greeted by Isoo Sasaki, mayor of the city Natori. He was shown a local elementary school where he met and visited with the children. He arrived in Tokyo for his meeting with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Saturday, where he expressed his condolences for the Tohoku disasters, but was also greatly impressed by the spirit and quick recovery of the Japanese people.
The two leaders discussed their views on North Korea’s recent missile launch, which was claimed to be weather satellite, but most of the world was in agreement that is was actually a weapons test. Abbas shares Noda’s feelings that North Korea’s actions were intolerable and must be denounced, regardless of that fact that the launch was declared a failure. They agree that it was a clear violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions, and that the U.N. should take action towards resolution. Noda also pledged his support for Abbas and continuing peace discussions between the governments of Israel and Palestine.