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TOKYO – A major Japanese department store has removed a vendor specializing in wine from Israel's occupied Golan Heights after protests from citizens' groups.
Daimaru store says it has withdrawn its offer for Naturael, a Tokyo-based importer specializing in wine from the Golan — highly valued among connoisseurs — to participate at a fair in May.
It says the decision was just for the event and does not reflect the company's political stance. But its spokesman acknowledged that geopolitical issues could not be ignored.
Naturael says the wine is produced and imported legally and criticized Daimaru for playing politics, saying it could lead to anti-Israel sentiments.
Israel captured the plateau from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it in 1981. The U.S. and others consider it to be disputed territory.