Statement by Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the Suicide Bombing in Israel
February 22, 2004
- Japan was gravely shocked by the suicide bombing that occurred in central Jerusalem on the morning of February 22 (Sun) (local time) and caused many deaths and injuries. I extend my sincere sympathy for those who died in the incident, condolences to the bereaved families, and heartfelt sympathy to the many injured persons. Terrorism cannot be justified for any reason. Japan reiterates its firm condemnation against brutal terrorist attacks that victimize the lives of many innocent people.
- Japan is deeply concerned that the Middle East peace process is making little progress and that the situation will worsen if the cycle of violence continues. To avoid further deterioration of this situation, Japan urges the Palestinian Authority to quickly launch a crackdown on the extremists, which is the most urgent issue facing it, and to produce results steadily. Japan urged this upon the Palestinian side at the last Japan-Palestinian ministerial political consultation and the joint meeting held in Japan on February 12. It is also greatly regrettable that military attacks carried out by the Israeli Defense forces cause civilian casualties and injure civilians. Thus, Japan strongly expects Israel to exercise utmost self-restraint to calm down the situation. Japan strongly hopes that both parties concerned will resume dialogue, in response to the concern of the international community, and promote their efforts in accordance with the Roadmap.
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