Statement by the Press Secretary, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Japan, on the recent situation of the Middle East Peace Process

March 16, 2011

  1. The Government of Japan is deeply concerned about the approval of a plan to build hundreds of housing units for Jewish people in settlements in the West Bank by the Ministerial Committee for Settlement Affairs of the Government of Israel. Such an act goes against the efforts by the international community to resume the negotiations.

  2. Japan does not recognize any act that prejudges the final status of the territories in the pre-1967 borders. Japan urges Israel to refrain from any unilateral act that changes the current situation in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. 

  3. Japan strongly condemns the murder which occurred on March 12 in Itmar, northern West Bank.  Japan expresses its heartfelt sympathy for the victims and sends condolences to the bereaved relatives.  Such an act cannot be justified for any reason, and any attempt to justify violence is unacceptable.

  4. Against the backdrop of the recent situation in the Middle East and North Africa, Middle East peace is increasingly important. Japan is convinced that the issues faced by people in the Middle East can never be solved through violence but only through negotiations and efforts to build mutual trust among parties to the conflict.  Japan strongly hopes that the Israeli and the Palestinian sides will focus on the resumption of negotiations for the achievement of Middle East peace.
    • (*This is a provisional translation. The above date denotes the date of the issue of the original press release in Japanese.)