(Washington, D.C., May 15, 2019)--A B’nai B’rith delegation has visited China and Japan, concluding with a private meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.
In recognition of the growing geopolitical importance of China – the world’s most populous nation – and of B’nai B’rith’s longtime engagement with Japan as a key democracy, the leadership group arrived to build further bridges to both societies, to recognize increasingly robust relations with Israel and to encourage strong bilateral ties with the United States.
In his remarks to the visiting delegation, Abe thanked B’nai B’rith – which arrived shortly after the accession of a new emperor – for its humanitarian contributions after a number of natural disasters in Japan, particularly the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011. B’nai B’rith has also sent several cohorts of American Jewish young leaders to the country.
In both countries, B’nai B’rith met with senior officials, diplomats and experts responsible for implementing or guiding foreign policy, as well as with the U.S. and Israeli ambassadors, and with rabbis and other local Jewish leaders.
B’nai B’rith particularly urged Chinese and Japanese policymakers to help promote peace and stability in the Middle East by consistently denouncing Palestinian terrorist groups that attacked Israeli civilians with hundreds of rockets this month, by denying revenue to Iran’s hegemonic regime and by backing fairness for Israel at the United Nations.
China is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, and Japan is a leading contributor to the operational budget of the world body.
President Donald Trump is expected to visit Japan over the coming weeks. On the eve of B’nai B’rith’s visit, he ended a waiver of sanctions on countries purchasing oil from Iran, leading a variety of countries to significantly wind down such purchases.
In China, the B’nai B’rith group made a stop in Shanghai to commemorate the extraordinary welcoming of European Jews there during the Holocaust. The group also joined the Embassy of Israel in Beijing in marking the Jewish State’s Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror.
Led by B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin, the delegation included Executive Board of Directors member and Chair of the Center for Community Action Ira Bartfield, of Arlington, Virginia; Executive Board of Directors member Eric Engelmayer, of Luxembourg City, Luxembourg; Jennifer Kaufman, of Austin, Texas; Michal Mariaschin, of Washington, DC; and Director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs David Michaels, of New York, who facilitated the mission.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org