TOKYO: While Japan and G7 partners apply severe sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine and changing the status quo by military force, they have expressed no interest in equally applying sanctions on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights.
“Generally speaking, according to the international law, to unilaterally annex land which has been taken by force, is not recognized under that law,” Japanese Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa said in response to a question by Arab News Japan.
“From this perspective, Israel’s occupation is something that we do not recognize and we have been consistent on this point with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute under the two states solution. We feel that it should be resolved between the two parties concerned,” Hayashi added.
The foreign minister was reminded of the 56th anniversary of the 1967 war in the Middle East, resulting in Israel changing the status quo of the Syrian and Palestinian borders, by annexing the Golan Heights and occupying Palestinian Territories through military force.
Many in the Arab countries voiced hope that Japan would apply sanctions against Israel in the same way they did to Russia.
Hayashi’s reply, however, suggests that changing the status quo by military force can be dealt with on a case by case principle such as by diplomacy rather than the sanctions’ approach against Russia.
“We are strongly calling upon Israel’s government to refrain from unilateral activities which change the status quo,” he urged.
Hayashi went on to say, “With regard to Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine, this disturbs the international order which was developed by the efforts of the international society and we have been liaising with the international society to take a resolute action and response to this.”
Furthermore, the Japanese foreign minister noted, “With regard to relations between countries, we make a comprehensive review based on the individual situation,” thus intimating that the Israeli occupation of Palestine and annexation of the Golan Heights are not shaking the international order.