Japan Defense Official Backs Israel over Escalating Violence


Tokyo, May 13 (Jiji Press)--Japanese State Minister of Defense Yasuhide Nakayama has posted a Twitter message that he sides with Israel over the escalating violence with Hamas Palestinian militants.

"Who fired rockets against ordinary citizens first? Our hearts are with Israel," Nakayama said in a Twitter post Wednesday.

His attitude contradicts the neutral stance of the Japanese government, calling for both sides to stop violence.

Nakayama told reporters that he posted the message because he hopes terrorism will be eliminated and he believes Israel has the right to protect its own citizens from terrorist attacks.

At a press conference Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato avoided a direct comment on Nakayama's view.

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