Iran–Japan relations

Kyodo News Agency reports that during his visit to mediate between the U.S. and Iran, Japanese PM Shinzō Abe asked Iran to release American prisoners held by Iran, though the response is "unclear" to the press. But Iran says it will not negotiate with the United States, rejecting Abe's bid to broker dialogue between the two countries amid escalating tensions in the Middle East. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accuses the "B-Team" (Mohammed bin Salman, John Bolton and Benjamin Netanyahu) of sabotaging diplomacy, including Abe's meeting, to hide its "economic terrorism" by accusing Iran of attacking oil tankers.

Japan scrambles for information on ship attacks near Strait of Hormuz

Sources:  Kyodo News  The Washington Post