When Hamas executed Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israeli population centers on Oct. 7, it triggered a major test for Japan’s policies toward Israel and the Palestinians.
Where would Tokyo position itself within an international community divided between support for Israel’s right to self-defense and condemnation of Israeli military response in Gaza? How would Japan leverage its instruments of national power in influencing outcomes in the war?
A month after Hamas’ surprise attack, it is worth taking stock of Japan’s response as it seeks to play a more meaningful role on the global stage. It has stood out from the other Group of Seven countries while demonstrating an interest and involvement that has outpaced Japanese government action during past conflicts involving Israel. The effectiveness of such action is yet to be seen in the region, but the war has yielded unexpected opportunities for crisis cooperation with other partners.