Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is scheduled to visit Israel in mid-July and will meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Japan desires to further its involvement in the peace process in the region. Koizumi originally planned his Israel visit three days before former prime minister Ariel Sharon fell ill, but canceled due to Sharon’s hospitalization. Koizumi refuses to meet with Hamas and other members of the Palestinian government. He will make an appearance at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem and the Western Wall. He is considering hosting Israeli and Palestinian children who have traveled to Japan in the past through a project organized by the Japanese government that encourages communication between the two sides.
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