Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the two countries will work together to try to calm the situation in the war between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Later in the day, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, who assumed the position in mid-September, also exchanged views with Blinken about the conflict, emphasizing Japan's strong condemnation of Hamas's terrorist attacks.

Kamikawa conveyed her appreciation to Blinken about the U.S. diplomatic efforts concerning the developments in the Middle East, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

Japan Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa (front, R) and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (front, L) hold talks at the Foreign Ministry on the sidelines of the Group of Seven foreign ministerial meeting in Tokyo on Nov. 7, 2023. (Pool photo) (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

During her talks with Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, meanwhile, Kamikawa was quoted by her ministry as saying that Japan deplores the terrorist attacks and abductions of innocent citizens by Hamas.

Israel has expanded its air and ground attacks on the Palestinian enclave Gaza, ruled by Hamas, since the group's surprise cross-border attack on Oct. 7 that killed more than 1,400 people. Since its retaliatory strikes, the death toll in the war has topped 10,000.

While the United States has consistently backed Israel, Japan has pursued balanced diplomacy with Middle Eastern nations due to its heavy dependence on crude oil from the region.

During her talks with Blinken, Kamikawa expressed heartfelt sympathy and offered condolences to families of the victims of Hamas and Israeli attacks, her ministry said.

The firm unity between Japan and the United States is important as the international community faces a variety of challenges, Kamikawa was quoted by the Foreign Ministry as telling him.

Blinken told Kamikawa, "I very much appreciate the words of support and sympathy in the wake of the horrific attack by Hamas that did result, as you noted, in American victims as well as American hostages."

Kamikawa held talks with Blinken and Joly on the sidelines of the Group of Seven foreign ministers' gathering in Tokyo.

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