A GLIMPSE INTO JAPAN’S STAND ON THE RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE AND THE ISRAEL-GAZA CONFLICT

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

 

A GUIDEPOST Report
Source: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Prime Minister Kishida’s attendance at Summit on Peace in Ukraine

On the afternoon of 15 June 2024, local time, during his visit to Switzerland, Mr. Kishida Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan attended the opening plenary session of the Summit on Peace in Ukraine. The overview is as follows.

Summit on Peace in Ukraine was hosted by the Swiss government for the first time since the start of the Russian aggression against Ukraine to promote international discussions for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukriane, with the attendance of many leaders, including Mr. Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, of more than 100 countries and international organizations.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, and Japanese Prime Minster, Kishida Fumio

During the session, Prime Minister Kishida stated that he was pleased to see that the G7 Summit in Hiroshima last June 2023 provided the basis  for the discussions at the Swiss Summit, at the same time noting that the principles of the United Nations Charter such as upholding sovereignty and territorial integrity, has been confirmed through the discussions with President Zelenskyy and the leaders of the invited countries at the  Hiroshima Summit.

Following this, Prime Minister Kishida emphasized that peace in Ukraine should be a “just and lasting peace” based on international law, including the  UN Charter, and should not justify unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion. Achieving said “just and lasting peace” in Ukraine is important in leading the entire international community towards a world of cooperation and not of division and confrontation.

Prime Minister Kishida also stated that Japan, as a co-chair, would actively contribute to the discussions on nuclear safety, which is one of the main themes of the Summit on Peace in Ukraine. Touching upon the importance of humanitaaian issues, the Prime Minister stated that Japan would step up its efforts in the areas of electricity and mine action in war-ravaged Ukraine. Whereupon, he stated that Japan would host an international conference on Ukraine mine action next year, and that Japan will continue to contribute in this field in a uniquely Japanese way.

Japan-Israel Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talk

On the 27th of May 2024 commencing at 4:30 p.m. (Japan time) for approximately 25 minutes, Ms. Kamikawa Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a telephone talk with H.E. Mr. Israel Katz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel. The overview is as follows:

Foreign Ministers of Israel, Israel Katx, and of Japan, Kamikawa Yoko

At the outset, Minister Kamikawa called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza so that release of the hostages is realized, and a conducive environment for humanitarian assistance is ensured in a sustainable manner. Minister Kamikawa stated that Japan hopes for a sustainable ceasefire. Furthermore, while conveying Japan’s deep concern for the critical humanitarian situation in Gaza, as well as its opposition to a full scale military operation in Rafah, Minister Kamikawa reiterated that humanitarian assistance, including making use of the Rafah crossing, should not be impeded. In addition, the Minitser stated that the orders for provisional measures of the International Court of Justice are legally binding on the parties to disputes, and must be observed in good faith.

In response, Minister Katz explained Israel’s position and efforts on the situation in the Gaza Strip, as well as Israel’s position on the orders of provisional measures of the ICJ and on the application of the warrants of arrest filed by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Both sides agreed to continue close communication.

 

Japan-Palestine Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talk

On the 2nd of April 2024, commencing at 5:00 p.m.(Japan time), Ms. Kamikawa Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a telephone talk with H.E. Dr. Mohammad Mustafa, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Palestine for approximately thirty minutes. The overview of the telephone talk is as follows;

Foreign Minister Kamikawa began by congratulating Dr. Mustafa on his appointment as Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, and welcomed the establishment of the new Palestinian cabinet.

The Foreign Minister of Japan then expressed her strong sense of urgency on the continuing deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Minister Kamikawa referred to the role Japan played in the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution on March 25, which pointed out the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire during Ramadan and the expansion of humanitarian assistance.

Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamikawa Yoko, and Palestinian Primne Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs  Mohammad Mustafa

In light of the dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and UNRWA’s measures to improve its governance, Minister Kamikawa referred to Japan’s announcement made on April 2nd, regarding its decision to lift the suspension of financial contributions to UNRWA, and to provide assistance while checking the appropriateness of the use of funds. Minister Kamikawa also stated that Japan, through the funding, would provide assistance such as medical services for Palestinians in the neighboring countries, and provide supplies for women and infants suffering from poor sanitary conditions in the Gaza Strip.

In response, Prime Minister Mustafa expressed his gratitude for Japan’s assistance for Palestine to date. Prime Minister Mustafa also stated that he would like to cooperate with Japan’s initiative to strengthen UNRWA’s governance, and that he appreciated the resumption of Japan’s contribution to UNRWA in view of the grave humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. He also stated that he looked forward to Japan’s continued support for Palestinians in the region.

Minister Kamikawa expressed her hopes that the new Palestinian cabinet would implement reforms of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in various areas, and stated that Japan will contribute to the realization of a “two-state solution”, in which Israel and a future Palestinian state will live side by side in peace and security. Prime Minister Mustafa elaborated on the current PA reforms and expressed his esteemed appreciation for Japan’s commitment to Middle East peace.

After exchanging views on the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the two sides agreed on continuous cooperation to restore stability as soon as possible.

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Images
Featured image (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)/Dick Thomas Johnson, CC BY2.0, Flickr
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida/首相官邸 via Wikimedia Commons, cropped.
Zelenskyy/president.gov.ua, Wikimedia Commons, cropped.
Israel Katz/David Azagury, US Embassy Jerusalem, CC BY4.0, Wikimedia Commons, cropped.
Kamikawa Yoko (in white)/内閣官房内閣広報室, CC BY4.0, Wikimedia Commons
Mohhamad Mustafa/Khaled6680 via Wikimedia Commons, cropped.