Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa on Tuesday urged Iran and Israel to exercise restraint to prevent further escalation of tensions in the Middle East following Tehran's missile and drone attack on Israel last weekend, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

In separate phone talks with her Iranian and Israeli counterparts, Hossein Amir Abdollahian and Israel Katz, Kamikawa also said Tokyo is seriously concerned about Iran's attack and "strongly condemns such escalation," according to the ministry.

"The current situation is not in the interest" of not only the Iranian and Israeli people but the entire international community, Kamikawa was quoted by the ministry as telling both ministers.

Kamikawa agreed with both counterparts to continue close communication, the ministry said.

She urged Iran to "ensure the safety of navigation" in regional waters, the ministry said.

Kamikawa also asked for Iran and Israel's support in securing the safety of Japanese nationals in the Middle Eastern nations, according to the ministry.

Iran's attack on Israel over the weekend was in retaliation for the bombing of the Iranian embassy's consular section in Damascus early this month in which seven Iranian officers, including a top Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps commander, were killed.

The Iranian force also reportedly seized a commercial ship with links to Israel as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz early on Saturday.

Resource-poor Japan has been highly dependent on crude oil from the region and traditionally pursues a "balanced diplomacy" between Israel and Muslim nations in the Middle East, including Iran.

Meanwhile, the Group of Seven industrialized countries, which includes Japan, held an online summit Sunday and condemned "in the strongest terms Iran's direct and unprecedented attack against Israel."

At the virtual gathering, the G7 leaders considered imposing sanctions on Tehran, and some of them proposed that the Revolutionary Guards be designated as a terrorist organization, according to a senior U.S. official.

Israel has been engaged in a prolonged conflict with Hamas since the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack on southern Israel in October, causing a serious humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza Strip.

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