Statement by H.E. Ambassador ISHIKANE Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate, Agenda item “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”


The Security Council held an emergency meeting on January 5th in response to an Israeli Minister's visit to Al-Haram Al-Sharif/the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Japan recognizes Jordan's special role as custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, and attaches great importance to preserving the historic status quo of the holy sites. Any unilateral actions that would aggravate an already tense situation are unacceptable.

Following the UN General Assembly resolution requesting an advisory opinion from the ICJ on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, we have witnessed the new Israeli government’s announcement of a series of measures against the Palestinian Authority. These actions would keep the parties away from reaching peaceful solution through direct dialogue and negotiation based on mutual trust between the two sides.
Japan is deeply concerned about the worsening security situation. The recent Secretary-General report indicates that high level of violence has continued in the West bank on a daily basis, and we have witnessed a number of casualties already this year. In this regard, Japan calls for the utmost restraint in order to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.

Japan supports the continuous efforts by Mr. Wennesland, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and regional countries, such as Algeria and Egypt, towards Palestinian national reconciliation.
Japan stresses UNRWA's vital role in assisting Palestinian people. Last year, we contributed approximately 30 million USD to UNRWA, and have committed another 33 million USD this year including medical, education, and food assistance. Japan hopes these assistance will contribute to the building of peace in Palestine. UNRWA’s financial base remains fragile, and Japan would like to call on the international community, especially the members of the Security Council, to consider further financial contribution to the agency.
Let me conclude by reiterating Japan’s strong determination to spare no effort to push for the achievement of a two-state solution, in line with relevant UN resolutions and international parameters. This is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace for both Israel and Palestine.