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

April 18, 2008

  1. The Government of Japan is deeply concerned about the escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip and the southern part of Israel again. Japan strongly deplores the fact that the Israeli and Palestinian civilians are falling victim to the violence, and expresses its deepest condolences to their bereaved families.
  2. The Government of Japan condemns the Palestinian militants’ rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip and their attack at the Nahal Oz fuel terminal which caused the death of Israeli civilians. Those attacks inflict damages on the daily lives of the residents in the Gaza Strip as well. Japan also condemns the Israeli military operations that have been causing the deaths and injuries of many civilians.  The Government of Japan calls on the Palestinian militants to immediately halt the attacks, and on the Israeli government to exercise its utmost self-restraint to avoid any other damage on civilians as well as further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip in order not to undermine the current peace process.
  3. Despite the difficult circumstances, the Government of Japan will 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 take necessary measures which will prevent the deterioration of the situation and to continue the peace negotiations towards the achievement of the peace.