Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told Israeli President Isaac Herzog Friday that he hopes tensions in Gaza would ease as soon as possible, the Japanese government said.

During their talks on the sidelines of a U.N. conference on climate change in the United Arab Emirates, Kishida was also quoted as telling Herzog that increased deliveries of supplies to Gaza are essential to improve the humanitarian situation there.

Kishida held his first in-person meeting with an Israeli political leader since the Oct. 7 attack on the Middle Eastern country by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Friday's meeting coincided with Israel and Hamas resuming fighting after a weeklong truce that began on Nov. 24.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R) and Israeli President Isaac Herzog shake hands in Dubai on Dec. 1, 2023. (Photo courtesy of the Cabinet Public Affairs Office)(Kyodo)

Resource-poor Japan has traditionally pursued a "balanced diplomacy" between Israel and Muslim nations in the Middle East as it is highly dependent on crude oil from the region.

At the outset of the talks, Kishida condemned Hamas for executing a "terror attack," offering his condolences to the families of the victims and conveying his sympathies to the injured, the government said.

Herzog told Kishida that he appreciated Japan's clear condemnation of terrorism, while explaining Israel's position, including its military actions in the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave of Gaza, it added.

Israel and Hamas had agreed to a pause in the fighting in exchange for hostages and extended the deal twice, with Qatar having played a mediation role.

Kishida praised the Muslim country's diplomatic efforts when he held separate talks with its emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

The Israeli military, however, said Friday that it has resumed attacks against Hamas, accusing the militant group of firing rockets.

Kishida called the resumption of fighting "regrettable," adding that it is "important to return to an agreement and calm the situation as soon as possible" during the meeting with Qatar's emir.

It is unlikely Kishida will visit Israel during his trip to the Middle East, where he is participating in the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP28, in Dubai.

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