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
1. The Government of Japan deeply deplores that, according to information, the Government of Israel has approved plans for the construction of housing units in the Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
2. The Israeli Government continues its plans for settlement construction at a time when the United States is making its utmost mediation efforts to proceed with direct negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides and the deadline of direct negotiations is drawing near. This clearly goes against the ongoing efforts by the international community toward realizing a two-state solution.
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 strongly calls upon Israel to refrain from any unilateral act that changes the current status of East Jerusalem as well as the West Bank and to desist from implementing the above-mentioned plans of construction for the sake of progress in the peace process.
4. Japan once again strongly urges both sides to act to enhance mutual trust and continue to make steady efforts for peace.