Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa on Friday stressed the importance of halting the intensifying Israel-Hamas conflict in the Gaza Strip.

"The priority is to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza," Kamikawa told a news conference. "As a realistic response, it is important to suspend the fighting for humanitarian purposes."

The United States and other countries are also calling for humanitarian pauses in the fighting.

"It's an urgent task to create an environment that allows humanitarian relief activities," Kamikawa said. "We will continue diplomatic efforts to calm the situation as soon as possible and improve the humanitarian situation."