Letter from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and from Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi to Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Shaath of the PA

May 28, 2004

  1. Today, Friday, May 28, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi each sent a letter concerning the recent situation in the Middle East to Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Shaath of the PA, respectively. The outlines of the letters are as follows.

    (a) Japan supports a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the Roadmap, which illustrates the path to a peaceful coexistence of the two states: Israel and Palestine. Specifically, territorial acquisition through use of arms is prohibited under international law, and such issues related to the final status as the border demarcation, the settlements and the return of the refugees, should be resolved through negotiations between the two parties involved, based on relevant UN resolutions and the principle of "land for peace".

    (b) Japan is deeply concerned about the current situation in which little progress has been made on the Roadmap due to the continuous vicious cycle of violence and hatred. Japan strongly expects that both the Palestinian and Israeli sides will exert their best efforts for implementing the obligations in the Roadmap.

    (c) Japan will pay close attention to developments surrounding the unilateral withdrawal plan from the Gaza Strip and other locations drawn up by the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Japan views it necessary for this Plan to be implemented in compliance with the Roadmap, and in such a case, Japan will take a positive note of it as it helps advance the Roadmap. As such, Japan expects the two sides to resume their talks immediately.

    (d) Recently, in response to the request of the PA, Japan has decided to provide an additional 10 million US dollars to the Trust Fund at the World Bank as a means of easing the financial difficulty the PA is now experiencing. In providing this aid, Japan is requesting the PA to actively undertake its reform activities.

  2. The issuance of the letters this time was due to various movements being witnessed recently with regard to the issue of peace in the Middle East and the Palestinian situation. It was also based on the consideration that it would be appropriate to directly and precisely convey to the Palestinian side Japan's view and position at a time when the Arab countries have announced their views on these issues at the Arab summit meeting held on May 22 and 23, 2004.

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