When Hamas forces executed rocket and ground attacks against Israeli population centers last week, all but one Group of Seven government immediately expressed that Israel had a “right to defend itself.”

Japan was the lone outlier, condemning the Hamas attacks but also expressing concern over the number of casualties in the Gaza Strip caused by the Israel Defense Forces in their militarized response.

This reflects a decadeslong policy approach that Japan has maintained since it first recognized the legitimacy of the Palestinian state in 1973. However, Tokyo’s Israel-Palestine policy has not been tested like this before. In recent years, the Liberal Democratic Party-led government has sought a more active role in global leadership and Japan currently holds the G7 presidency and a nonpermanent seat in the U.N. Security Council. But with leadership comes tough choices, and the Fumio Kishida administration is faced with one here.