Japan won't move embassy to Jerusalem

In meeting with Jordanian counterpart, Japan's Foreign Minister says his country won't follow in U.S. footsteps.

Elad Benari,

Taro Kono
Taro Kono

Japan’s Foreign Minister, Taro Kono, told his Jordanian counterpart on Tuesday that his country does not intend to follow in the footsteps of the United States and move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Kono, who is visiting the Middle East, met in Amman with Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, according to Jordan’s official Petra news agency.

The two discussed developments in the Middle East, including the Palestinian issue, the Syrian crisis and the war on terrorism, as well as enhancing Jordanian-Japanese ties, the news agency said.

During the meeting, Safadi told his Japanese counterpart that the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy to the city was “a violation of international resolutions and legitimacy, which underlined that East Jerusalem is occupied territory and that Jerusalem is a final status issue whose fate should be decided through direct negotiations and according to the relevant international resolutions.”

Safadi stressed the need to abide by international resolutions, which deemed as null and void any unilateral moves to change the legal and historic status quo and impose new facts on the ground.

The Japanese foreign minister said his country will not move its embassy to Jerusalem as it considers the city as a final status issue whose fate should be decided through direct negotiations.

Kono also reiterated Jordan’s support for the two-state solution and the need for effective efforts to achieve that goal, according to Petra.

Jordan has been one of the vocal critics of Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem. Safadi warned that the move would have “dangerous consequences” and “would trigger anger” in the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Jordan similarly condemned the announcement by Guatemala that it would follow the U.S. and move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Hebrew-language news website Walla! reported that Japan had invited Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to a four-way meeting in Tokyo with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner in an effort to restart peace efforts.

The invitation was extended on Monday by Kono, who was in Israel and met with Netanyahu. The Prime Minister reportedly has conditioned his participation on approval from the Trump administration.