Japan, Israel foreign ministers agree to cooperate to calm situation in Gaza

Japan's Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko has agreed with her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen to work together to ensure the safety of citizens and calm the situation in Gaza as soon as possible.

The ministers met in Israel's largest commercial city of Tel Aviv on Friday.

Kamikawa told Cohen at the outset of the meeting that she was visiting to convey Japan's solidarity with the people of Israel.

She said she unequivocally condemns what she called terror attacks by Hamas.

Kamikawa said such attacks and the abduction of civilians, including babies, children, women and the elderly, can never be tolerated.

She expressed sorrow for the victims and said she sincerely hopes those abducted will be released as soon as possible.

Cohen said October 7 was the worst day for Jews since the Holocaust. He expressed gratitude for Japan's support and solidarity with Israel.

Kamikawa said she is concerned about the situation in the Gaza Strip, where the number of civilian casualties continues to rise.

She said a temporary halt to fighting for humanitarian purposes is necessary, and that all actions should be taken in accordance with international law including international humanitarian law.

Kamikawa also asked for help in securing the safety of Japanese nationals. Cohen said he will fully cooperate.