Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa Slams Use of Human Shields in Gaza Conflict

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa is seen at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco on Tuesday.

SAN FRANCISCO — Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa on Tuesday said using innocent civilians as human shields cannot be tolerated in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

Touching upon the crisis at a press conference during a visit to San Francisco, Kamikawa said, “Acts such as the use of innocent civilians as human shields are against the basic principles of international humanitarian law, and cannot be justified.” Kamikawa’s comments came in the wake of a raid upon a hospital in Gaza by Israeli forces, among other recent events.

Her remarks are thought to be linked to claims made by Israel and the United States that the militant group Hamas is utilizing the hospital as a military base and using civilians as human shields.

She also stressed the “need to take all possible measures, including allowing a pause in the conflict for humanitarian purposes, to prevent civilian casualties” over Israel’s military actions.

Kamikawa also held telephone talks on the day with her Jordanian and Egyptian counterparts — Ayman Safadi and Sameh Shoukry, respectively — and confirmed their cooperation to improve the humanitarian situation.