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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 December 6 - 12  > Yamazoe: Japan, as party to Geneva Conventions, should criticize Israel for violating international humanitarian law
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2023 December 6 - 12 [WORLD]

Yamazoe: Japan, as party to Geneva Conventions, should criticize Israel for violating international humanitarian law

December 7, 2023

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Yamazoe Taku on December 5 said that the Japanese government’s position of being reluctant to criticize Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip as a breach of international humanitarian law violates state obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

At a House of Councilors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting on the day, Yamazoe pointed out that Common Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions stipulates that all State Parties have an obligation to take action to stop violations of international humanitarian law performed by a country. Noting that Japan is a party to the Geneva Conventions, he said, “If Japan keeps on taking a bystander position, this may constitute a breach of the Conventions.” He demanded that the government collect information and confirm if Israel respects international humanitarian law.

Yamazoe referred to the UN Security Council Resolution 2286 which was unanimously adopted in 2016. He pointed out that the resolution, whose co-sponsors include Japan, condemns attacks against medical facilities and medical personnel in armed conflict situations and demands that all parties to armed conflict comply with international human rights law and international humanitarian law. The JCP lawmaker asked if the government regards Israel’s attacks on hospitals in Gaza as a violation of the UNSC resolution.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamikawa Yoko gave no clear answer and said, “I’ll refrain from making a legal assessment” on whether Israel’s acts violate the UNSC resolution.

Criticizing the minister’s response, Yamazoe said, “It appears that Japan, despite taking part in the drafting, recognizes the UNSC resolution as ineffective.”

Past related article:
> Yamazoe criticizes gov’t for not regarding Israel’s acts as breach of international humanitarian law [November 10, 2023]
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