Noda backs peace efforts in meeting with Abbas

Kyodo

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Saturday in Tokyo, with Noda throwing his support behind efforts to bring durable peace to the Middle East through dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis, Japanese officials said.

During their talks, Abbas said that he was moved by Japan’s quick recovery from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which devastated the coastline of the Tohoku region, the officials said.

After arriving in Japan on Thursday for a four-day visit, Abbas traveled to Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, one of the cities severely damaged by last March’s tsunami.

He later visited an elementary school in the city and spoke with children there before heading to Tokyo.

This is Abbas’ third visit to Japan since he became president of the Palestinian Authority in 2005. His previous trip was in February 2010.