Japan FM Kamikawa calls for stronger governance at UNRWA

Japan's Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko has called for stronger governance at the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA, so that it can properly perform its role of providing humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip.

Kamikawa discussed UNRWA during a Diet session on Thursday.

Last month, Japan said that it had suspended additional funding for UNRWA, following allegations by Israel that some of the agency's staff members were involved in the Hamas attacks on October 7.

The US, Britain and several other countries have taken similar action.

Kamikawa said she is extremely concerned about the allegations. She said Japan has suspended additional funding for the time being while the UN conducts an investigation and considers measures to address the matter.

She pointed out that most UNRWA staff members have devoted themselves to providing humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip, and she hopes the agency will fulfill its original role.

Kamikawa said Japan wants the agency to take appropriate measures, including stronger governance, and the Japanese government will work closely with the United Nations, UNRWA itself, and the countries concerned.

She added that Japan intends to actively cooperate with the UN investigation.