Statement by Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the announcement of the Government of Israel regarding the construction of housing units at a settlement in the East Jerusalem

December 10, 2007

  1. The Government of Japan is concerned about the recent announcement of the Government of Israel regarding the construction of approximately 300 new housing units at the settlement of Har Homa located in the East Jerusalem, and calls upon the Government of Israel to immediately review such plan of the construction as it might have negative impacts on the current peace process.
  2. Especially at the critical moment just after the conclusion of the Joint Understanding at the Annapolis Conference, which stipulates that the both Israeli and Palestinian leaders had agreed to immediately launch good-faith bilateral negotiations and to make every effort to conclude a peace treaty before the end of the next year, this unilateral measure of the housing construction in the controversial settlements might only lose the momentum for peace and could never make any constructive contribution to the confidence-building between the parties concerned.
  3. As Japan hopes that a peace agreement will be reached as soon as possible and peaceful co-existence and co-prosperity will be realized between the Israelis and the Palestinians, we strongly hope that both sides of Israelis and Palestinians will make due efforts with maximum self-restraints and good-faith for the bilateral negotiations in order not to deteriorate the situation on the ground.