Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the current situation of Israel and the Palestinian Territories

March 3, 2008

  1. The Government of Japan is deeply concerned over the escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip and the southern part of Israel. Japan strongly deplores the fact that the Israeli and Palestinian civilians including children are falling victim to the violence, and expresses its deepest condolences to their bereaved families.
  2. The Government of Japan strongly condemns both the rocket attacks by the Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip and the shedding blood of civilians by the Israeli Defense Forces.  The Government of Japan calls on the Palestinian militants to immediately halt the rocket attacks, and on the Israeli government to exercise its utmost self-restraint to avoid any other damage on civilians including children as well as further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.
  3. As the Government of Japan intends to continue supporting, to the greatest extent possible, the efforts towards the promotion of the Middle East Peace Process,  the Government of Japan urges both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides to refrain from taking any measure which will deteriorate the situations and to continue the peace negotiations in order to advance the peace process.