British Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps (L) listens to Japanese Defence Minister Minoru Kihara
British Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps (L) listens to Japanese Defence Minister Minoru Kihara delivering a statement during a joint press announcement with British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa (not pictured) after their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, Japan, 07 November 2023. EFE-EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON

Tokyo, Japan E).-

Japan and the United Kingdom urged Israel on Tuesday to adhere to international law in the Gaza war and to implement a “humanitarian pause” to facilitate the delivery of aid to the besieged Palestinian enclave.

The call was made in a joint statement by the Japanese and British foreign and defense ministers following a meeting to discuss deeper military and strategic cooperation between the two countries.

The talks, which featured Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and Defense Minister Minoru Kihara, along with British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, were held in Tokyo, just ahead of a gathering of the Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers in the city.


In their joint statement, the four ministers expressed “unequivocal condemnation” of the attacks launched by Hamas militants on Israel on Oct. 7 and called for the “immediate release of all hostages” held by the Islamist group.

The two sides emphasized Israel’s “right to self-defense” under international law and requested a “humanitarian pause” to expedite the delivery of essential supplies like food, medicine, water, electricity, and fuel to the people of Gaza.

The ministers underlined that the “two-state solution” remained the only viable path towards peace and stability in the Middle East, echoing their shared stance on the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The ongoing Middle East conflict would be the primary focus of the meeting among the G7, which comprises the wealthy nations of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, and the European Union.

Japan and the UK reiterated their commitment to advancing bilateral partnerships in security and defense as part of the collaborative initiatives stemming from the Hiroshima Agreement signed in May.

The agreement permits joint military exercises by the British military in the Indo-Pacific region.

Cleverly said the bilateral relationship was the “strongest” in decades.

The British minister emphasized that both countries aimed to respond to the increasingly volatile global environment characterized by tensions in the South China Sea, the Middle East conflict, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Shapps said Japan and the United Kingdom maintained “the closest security and defense relations.” EFE



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