Saudi Arabia, Japan agree to cooperate to ease Middle East tensions

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida agreed in a call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday to work together to improve humanitarian conditions in Gaza and help ease tensions in the Israel-Hamas conflict, the Japanese government said.

“The two leaders concurred on maintaining close cooperation between the two countries and working on the improvement of the humanitarian situation and calming down the situation,” a Japanese government statement said on their phone call.

Japan, this year’s chair of the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies, on Tuesday announced its plan to extend $10 million in emergency humanitarian aid to Gaza residents.

U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday pledging solidarity in its war against Hamas and saying that a blast that killed huge numbers of Palestinians at a Gaza hospital appeared to have been caused not by Israel but by its foes.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka, Francis Tang; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)