Japan Foreign Chief Condemns “Terror Attack” by Hamas

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Yoko Kamikawa

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, in phone talks with her Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, has condemned the massive attack on Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas, which effectively rules the Gaza Strip.

“Japan unequivocally condemns the recent terror attack by Hamas and other Palestinian militants, especially the attacks to and kidnappings of innocent civilians, which cannot be justified on any grounds,” Kamikawa said in the 15-minute phone conversation, held Thursday during her stay in Thailand.

It was the first time for the foreign ministers of Japan and Israel to hold talks since Hamas launched the attacks. The two agreed to continue working together toward stabilization of the region, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

Kamikawa said it is obvious that Israel has a right to defend itself and its people in accordance with international law. She expressed hope that the situation would be calmed down as soon as possible and asked for support from Israel to secure the safety of Japanese nationals. Cohen said Israel is ready to provide support needed by Japanese nationals for their safety.

In separate phone talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry the same day, Kamikawa denounced the “terror attacks” by Palestinian militants, including Hamas. She said that she is “deeply saddened” by the loss of many lives and that it is important for numerous civilians being held hostage to be freed as soon as possible.

Kamikawa said she is paying close attention to the situation in the Gaza Strip “with great concern.”

In addition, the Japanese foreign minister expressed appreciation for Egypt’s diplomatic efforts to calm down the situation and said Japan hopes to continue working with Egypt on the matter.

Kamikawa also asked for Egypt’s support in case there are Japanese nationals who want to flee Gaza to Egypt.

In reply, Shoukry said that his country is ready to offer necessary support to Japan. Shoukry said that he shares with Kamikawa grave concern over the situation on the ground.