2011 Statement


Statement by H.E. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East
21 April, 2011


Mr. President,


Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to address the situation in the Middle East. I would like to thank Mr. Pascoe for his comprehensive briefing. I would also like to thank Ambassador Mansour as well as Ambassador Reuben for their respective statements.


Japan strongly supports a two-state solution and remains convinced that the only way to achieve durable peace is to achieve the two-state solution through sincere negotiations. We believe there is presently a lack of mutual trust which is preventing the restart of direct negotiations. We call on both sides to engage the United States and the international community and to take steps that will create an environment conducive to restarting direct negotiations. We strongly encourage both parties to restart direct negotiations.


The two parties must abide by their obligations under previous agreements, most importantly the Road Map. We call on Israel, as we have done so on so many occasions, to freeze its settlement activities in the West Bank which includes East Jerusalem. In this connection, Japan is deeply concerned that the Israeli authorities continue to approve plans to build more settlements. Japan does not recognize any unilateral measures that prejudge the outcome of the final status negotiations. At the same time, we call upon the Palestinian Authority to continue its efforts to improve security and fulfill its commitment to cease violence and work against incitement. Japan strongly condemns the murder which occurred on March 12 in Itamar of northern West Bank. Only negotiations, not violence, can bring about a resolution to the issues.


According to the assessment provided by the World Bank, the IMF and the Unite Nations at the recent Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee, the Palestinian Authority is now above the threshold for a functioning state in the key sectors.

Japan strongly supports and will continue to provide assistance to the state building efforts of the Palestinian Authority.


We are seriously concerned about the recent escalation of violence along the borders between Israel and the Gaza Strip. We strongly condemn the targeting of civilians. We continue to call for the full implementation of resolution 1860 and call on Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to refrain from violence and to accept mutual co-existence. Japan remains concerned about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Japan stresses the importance of lifting the blockade while preventing the inflow of weapons into the Gaza Strip. We do not agree with the blockade. We also call on those wishing to provide aid to the Gaza Strip to make appropriate coordination with relevant authorities to avoid unforeseen incidents.


We call on both parties to make difficult, but necessary decisions to advance peace. Japan will continue to make its efforts to realize a just and comprehensive peace in the region.


Thank you.