TOKYO: Siding with the United States and Western Europe, Japan has no plans at present to recognize a Palestinian state and will wait to see what happens on the ground and with the peace process before deciding on the matter.
Responding to a question from Arab News Japan on recognizing Palestine as a state, Japanese Foreign Minister KAMIKAWA Yoko responded: “With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Japan has consistently supported the ‘two-state solution’ and the right of self-determination, including the right to establish an independent Palestinian state.” But Kamikawa indicated that Japan is playing a waiting game regarding any change in policy.
“With regard to recognizing Palestine, it is basically based on how the peace process will develop,” she said on Friday. “We want to give consideration from a comprehensive viewpoint.”
Japan’s reluctance to decide clearly indicates that it is unable to move forward on the issue of recognizing Palestine as a state. Kamikawa suggested that economic assistance goes some way to making up for the lack of political decisiveness in Tokyo. “Japan has provided political and economic support to Palestinians who are striving to establish an independent state,” Kamikawa said.
According to the Palestinian Authority, 139 countries recognize Palestine as a state. They include Russia, Ukraine, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, North Korea, Brazil, Bulgaria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brunei, South Africa, and all Arab countries.
No Western countries in Europe or North America, who are generally seen as allies of Israel, recognize Palestine, and Japan clearly sees itself in the same camp.