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Japanese company to sever tie with Israel's Elbit over Gaza war

February 6, 2024 at 9:48 am

A group of protesters gather to call on Israel to stop military attacks on Gaza, during a demonstration near the Israeli embassy in Tokyo on November 24, 2023 [RICHARD A. BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images]

Itochu Corp’s 8001.T aviation unit will end its strategic cooperation with Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems Ltd ESLT.TA by the end of February over the war in Gaza, the Japanese trading house’s executive said yesterday, Reuters reports.

Itochu Aviation, Elbit Systems and Nippon Aircraft Supply (NAS) signed the strategic cooperation memorandum of understanding (MoU) in March 2023.

Itochu plans to end the collaboration after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel last month to prevent acts of genocide against Palestinians and do more to help civilians, Itochu Chief Financial Officer Tsuyoshi Hachimura said.

“The partnership is based on a request from the Japan’s Defence Ministry for the purpose of importing defence equipment for the Self-Defense Forces necessary for Japan’s security, and is not in any way related to the current conflict between Israel and Palestine,” Hachimura told an earnings news conference.

“Taking into consideration the International Court of Justice’s order on January 26, and that the Japanese government supports the role of the Court, we have already suspended new activities related to the MOU, and plan to end the MOU by the end of February,” he said.

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