H.E. Ambassador Koichi Haraguchi
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Resumed Tenth Emergency Session of the General Assembly
16 JULY 2004
In the written statement which Japan submitted to the International Court of Justice in January, Japan expressed its position that the construction of the wall inside the 敵reen Line is negatively affecting the livelihood of Palestinians and prejudices the outcome of the final status negotiations, and, in addition, that the construction of the wall inside the 敵reen Line appears to be in contradiction to relevant provisions of international law, based on the limited information available, and hence should be stopped. Based on this position, we find it truly regrettable that Israel is continuing to go forward with construction of the wall inside the 敵reen Line. We take note of the recent ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court, which ordered the Israeli Government to change the route of the wall, and of the work subsequently started by the Government to alter the route. We will be carefully observing the future course of action of the Government of Israel, to see if changing the route will bring about an end to construction of the wall inside the 敵reen Line.
The Advisory Opinion which ICJ recently issued states that the construction of the wall by Israel in Occupied Palestinian Territory is contrary to international law and that Israel is obligated therefore to terminate this illegal situation. Japan expects that Israel will act appropriately in this matter.
Japan notes that a large number of innocent Israeli lives have been lost in terrorist attacks by Palestinian extremists and expresses its position that the Palestinian Authority must make the utmost effort both to improve its security capacity and to suppress terrorism.
This issue regarding the construction of wall has arisen in the midst of the current prolonged chain of violence between the Israeli and the Palestinians and a state of stagnation in the implementation of the Roadmap. Japan therefore believes that the fundamental resolution of the issue must be worked out by negotiation between the two parties and through the full implementation of the Roadmap, which aims at realizing the vision of the two states of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace. Taking this opportunity, I appeal to the two parties once again to implement their obligations under the Roadmap in good faith. Japan will continue to do its best to support such efforts by the two parties for the attainment of peace.