On the US-Israel Summit Meeting
April 23 2004
- Japan supports a resolution to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians through the Road Map, which is the only path leading to a peaceful coexistence of the two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side.
- Withdrawal of all the settlements from the Gaza Strip will help advance the Road Map and thus be a welcome step, provided that it is implemented consistently with the Road Map. For this to happen, it is necessary for both the Israelis and the Palestinians to establish cooperation and collaboration as regards concrete measures related to the withdrawal, including the issue of how the Gaza Strip will be administered after the withdrawal. It is also necessary that the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip will not lead to consolidating or increasing the settlements in the West Bank.
- We take note that the US President Bush reaffirmed his commitment to the resolution of the conflict through the Road Map. We also take note that he stated that the so-called final status issues such as the border demarcation, the settlements, and the return of the refugees should be resolved through negotiations between the parties concerned.
- Japan is of the position that, under international law, acquisition of land by force is not admissible and that measures undertaken under such acquisition do not constitute any basis for obtaining territorial title. Based on this position, Japan holds the view that the issues of the border demarcation and the settlements need to be resolved through negotiations on the final status, in accordance with the relevant UN Resolutions, including UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and also based on the principle of "land for peace". Japan does not recognize, therefore, any changes to the pre-1967 borders other than those arrived at by agreement between the parties concerned. On the issue of the return of the refugees, a just, fair and realistic solution needs to be worked out through an agreement between the two parties.
- It is necessary that the Palestinian side make the utmost efforts to bring about reforms and to demonstrate tangible results for controlling the extremists. In order for the withdrawal of the settlements from the Gaza Strip to be achieved consistently with the Roadmap, we strongly expect that dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians take place soon.
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