Jakarta (ANTARA) - ASEAN and Japanese leaders encouraged the widest access to humanitarian aid for Gaza residents affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict during a summit chaired by Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The leaders are attending the Commemorative Summit of the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation in Tokyo from December 16 to 18, 2023.

In a joint press conference with Kishida after the summit on Sunday, Jokowi said they also encouraged the prompt start of the peace process in Gaza.

He emphasized ASEAN and Japan's commitment to regional peace and stability through inclusive cooperation, respect for international laws, and the strengthening of ASEAN centrality.

"ASEAN leaders also conveyed appreciation for Japan's full support for the implementation and prioritization of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and welcomed the trilateral summit mechanism involving Japan, China, and South Korea as a form of dialogue habit," he remarked.

Meanwhile, Kishida highlighted Japan's support for ASEAN, especially during regional divisions and conflicts.

"Based on strong mutual trust, we will overcome new challenges and contribute to regional peace and stability, thereby creating a world where everyone can enjoy prosperity, and their human dignity is protected," he said.

In early December, Kishida, in telephone talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, underscored the need to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and to act in accordance with international humanitarian law.

He also highlighted the need to avoid an increase in civilian casualties, according to the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry.

He emphasized that Tokyo supports the two-state solution and that Israel and Palestine must live side by side peacefully.

Israel has bombarded the Gaza Strip after it was attacked by the militant group Hamas on October 7.

At least 18,800 Palestinians, most of whom are children and women, were killed, and 51,000 others were injured due to Israeli attacks.

The death toll in Israel reached 1,200, and more than 130 hostages are still being held by Hamas in Gaza.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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