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New Defense Minister Taro Kono held back on Wednesday from saying that Iran was involved in last week’s attack on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil plants, highlighting how Japan’s position on rising tensions in the Middle East differs from that of the United States.

“Although the relationship between Iran and the Houthi group has been under intense scrutiny in recent days, I cannot confirm that Iran was involved in the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia’s facilities,” said Kono, who was appointed to his new position in a Cabinet reshuffle just a week ago, in a group interview with multiple media outlets including The Japan Times.

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