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 vicinity of Jerusalem

March 12, 2008

  1. The Government of Japan is concerned about the recent approval of the Government of Israel regarding the resumption of construction of approximately 750 housing units at the settlement of Giv’at Ze’ev located in the vicinity of 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 while the peace negotiations between the Israeli and the Palestinian sides, which were relaunched by the Annapolis Conference, have fallen into difficulties due to the recent situation in the Gaza Strip and the southern Israel and the terrorist shooting attack in Jerusalem, such unilateral measure of the housing construction in the controversial settlements, following the announcement in last December, might further undermine 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 the Israeli side will fulfill the Road Map obligations and 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.