Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan on the Situation in Syria

August 19, 2011

  1. Japan has for some time been calling upon the Government of Syria to listen to the wishes of its people and voices of the international community and immediately cease the use of force against civilians, progress toward urgent and practical dialogue with the public – including the opposition – and quickly start fundamental reforms toward democratization.

  2. It is highly regrettable that despite requests by Japan and many other members of the international community, the wide-scale use of force by Syrian security authorities has continued to cause many deaths and injuries among the general populace. Japan firmly reproaches the Syrian security authorities that have used force against civilians and call for the immediate halting of such activities.

  3. Japan shares the serious concerns of the international community regarding the situation in Syria. Japan believes Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has already lost the trust of the international community, can no longer legitimately govern the country and should step aside.

  4. Japan holds great interest in the agreement President Al-Assad made with United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on August 17 to halt military and police operations, carry out reforms of the constitution and other reforms, and accept a United Nations mission to evaluate humanitarian conditions in the country.

  5. In relation to the above, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Syrian Arab Republic Toshiro Suzuki will temporarily be back to Japan for a consultation on the situation in the country.
    • (*This is a provisional translation. The above date denotes the date of the issue of the original press release in Japanese.)