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Japan joined other nations Tuesday in criticizing Israel for its murder of Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Palestinian militant group Hamas, and called on both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume peace talks.

Israeli forces killed Yassin in a missile attack in Gaza City on Monday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda told a regular news conference that Israel’s actions were “thoughtless and reckless, and cannot be justified.”

“We are strongly concerned that the assassination of Mr. Yassin will lead to a continuing chain of hate and violence, greatly affecting the peace process in the Middle East,” he said. “We condemn this act on the part of Israel.”

Fukuda said he hoped Israel and the Palestinian Authority will resume peace talks based on the so-called road map peace plan, which calls for a series of steps leading to the establishment of a permanent Palestinian state.

Hideaki Domichi, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, expressed Japan’s regret Tuesday over Yassin’s assassination to Eli Cohen, Israel’s ambassador to Japan, who was summoned to the ministry.

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