Japan stands with Malaysia on Palestine

TOKYO: Japan is clear with its support for Malaysia in championing the Palestinian cause.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the Japan-Asean Commemorative Summit here in Tokyo, the Malaysian ambassador to Japan Datuk Shahril Effendi Abd Ghany said that Japan stands firmly with Malaysia in calling for permanent peace between Palestine and Israel.

"At the recent emergency special session UN General Assembly, Japan voted yes for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza strip.

"They are clear of their stance and stand with Malaysia in support of Palestine."

Present with the ambassador, was Asean-Malaysia National Secretariat Director - General Datuk Zanariah Zainal Abidin.

She said that among the issues that will be raised during the summit would be the Palestine-Israel war and calling for a resolution to end the conflict in the region.

"The Palestinian cause is always brought up in our discussions and will continue to be discussed throughout our partnership," she said.

When asked if Japan agrees with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's more aggressive and vocal stance on the matter, Zanariah said that every nation has the right to take their own stand.

"In general each country has their own position and we talk about this, and we respect their position and try to find a common ground to move things further.

The UN General Assembly on Tuesday (Dec 12) adopted a resolution demanding an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in the Gaza Strip in a strong demonstration of the international community's call for an end to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The nonbinding resolution was supported by 153 countries including Japan, France, China and Russia, while only 10 countries, including Israel and the United States, voted against it. Britain, Germany, Italy and 20 other countries abstained.

Japan is the host of the Asean-Japan Commemorative Summit marking the 50th Year of Asean-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, taking place in Tokyo from 16 to 18 Dec.

Among the key collaborative areas for Malaysia-Japan ties would be on digitalisation. A clear focus would be on empowerment; to empower small businesses and boost digital connectivity in rural areas.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is expected to land at Haneda International Airport later tonight for the summit. He will be arriving together with Investment, Trade and Industry minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and newly appointed Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

They will be among 10 Asean leaders expected to arrive by tomorrow for the summit.

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