Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary on Monday expressed concern that the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel could escalate tensions in the Middle East.
Yoshihide Suga said that "Japan is concerned that the move could make peace process in the Middle East even more difficult or escalate tension in all of the Middle East." He says Japan will watch the development with great interest.
Suga stopped short of criticizing the U.S., and said that Japan takes note of Washington's pledge that the issue of Jerusalem's status should be resolved between the concerned parties.
He stressed that Japan's position is that the disputes and Jerusalem's status should be resolved via negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Suga added that Japan hopes to contribute in its own way to the region's peace by promoting trust and dialogue between the two parties through various projects.
The relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem has been welcomed by Israel but condemned by the Palestinians, who want their capital to be in east Jerusalem and view the decision as a blatantly one-sided move on one of the thorniest disputes in the conflict.
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