Arab News Japan
TOKYO: Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary MATSUNO Hirokazu on Wednesday expressed serious concern over Israel’s bombing of a refugee camp in the Palestinian territory of Gaza, which is effectively controlled by Hamas militants.
“The level of tension on the ground is increasing by the minute,” the top government spokesperson told a press conference, noting that the local situation is very fluid. “We are closely watching the situation with grave concern.”
Gaza’s health ministry claimed that the airstrike has killed more than 50 people and injured some 150 others, with numbers still expected to rise as civilians are still stuck under the rubble.
Matsuno reiterated that Japan is requesting that people taken hostage be released immediately, safety of citizens be ensured and the situation be brought under control at an early date.
“At the moment, improving the humanitarian situation, especially in Gaza, is top priority,” he said, adding, “A humanitarian ceasefire and an environment allowing humanitarian aid activities are needed.”
Matsuno also said that Japan will continue its diplomatic efforts to help improve the situation, including through Foreign Minister KAMIKAWA Yoko’s visit to Israel and Jordan from Thursday.
During the trip, Kamikawa is expected to hold meetings with the foreign ministers and other senior government officials of the two countries. Arrangements are underway for Kamikawa also to meet with senior officials of the Palestinian Authority.
She will be the first Japanese minister to visit Israel since the start of the latest fighting between Israel and Hamas in early October.
*With JIJI Press