Japan to call for calm from Israel, Hamas


Japan will call on both Israel and the Muslim fundamentalist group Hamas to exercise utmost restraint following escalating attacks against each other, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said.

Noda revealed this in Sunday phone talks with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. He said Japan deplores the current situation, noting that an increasing number of civilians are falling victim to the conflict.

The phone conversation took place at the request of Egypt, which is trying to mediate between Israel and Hamas to bring about a ceasefire. Israel is repeatedly retaliating against rocket attacks into its territory from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory of Gaza.

Morsi told Noda that he wants Japan and other major countries to cooperate in calming down the situation, including through the United Nations.