Statement by the Press Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, on the decision regarding the construction of housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank

December 20, 2011

1. The Government of Japan deeply deplores the fact that, according to the information, the Israeli government has announced plans for the construction of a total of 1,028 new housing units for Jewish people in Har Homa (Jabar Abu Ghneim) in East Jerusalem, and Betar Illit, and Giv'at Ze'ev in the West Bank.

2. The fact that the Israeli government continues to proceed with its plan for settlement construction, at a time when the Middle East Quartet and the international community are urging both Israeli and Palestinian sides to resume direct negotiations, goes against the ongoing efforts by the international community to resume negotiations for peace.

3. Settlement activities are a violation of international law, and Japan has repeatedly called upon Israel to fully freeze settlement activities. The Government of Japan does not recognize any unilateral act that prejudges the final status of the territories in the pre-1967 borders. Japan calls upon Israel not to implement the above-mentioned plans of construction for the sake of progress in the peace process.

4. Japan once again strongly urges that both sides act to boost mutual trust and continue to make steady efforts for peace.


* The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issuance of the original press release in Japanese.