“Corridor for Peace and Prosperity”: The Middle East Peace and Japan’s role in confidence building measures

Workshops on

Palestinian-Japanese Relations: Toward a Joint Vision for the Future

December 20 21-March 20222

A joint Palestinian-Japanese Working Group of academics and experts recommends policy changes to strengthen future Palestinian-Japanese relations with a special focus on reinforcing the resilience of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the Jordan Valley

Ramallah, 28 March 2022: A joint Palestinian-Japanese Working Group formed by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research explored Palestinian-Japanese relations and made several policy recommendations to the two countries to strengthen their future relations. The group, see below for names and affiliation, which worked for four months and met in two online workshops, was made of 12 academics and experts, 6 from each side. The members engaged in a dialogue on the various facets of the relationship with the aim of proposing a joint vision on how to strengthen and advance that relationship in a manner that helps it meet the challenges of the future. This effort led to the publication of nine reports and working papers addressing various aspects of the current relationship, including one that summarized the findings and recommendations of the working group.

The dialogue took place in two online workshops. The goal of the dialogue has been to explore ways to strengthen the relationship between the two sides in the political and economic realms in order to expand the space for joint efforts to enhance Palestinian state building and promote progress toward ending the Israeli occupation and ensuring a future for the Palestinian people in which they can enjoy sovereignty, security, dignity, and equality.  It sought to search for ways to strengthen the Palestinian side and its public institutions through local, regional and Palestinian-Israeli efforts and initiatives. Finally, it aimed at searching for effective means of strengthening Palestinian society and economy and their socio-economic infrastructure through initiatives aimed at civil society and its scientific and technological environment, and at opening of doors for the private sector for greater exports.

The first workshop, which took place on 26 January 2022, started with the members’ assessment of the current conditions in the Middle East and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and their forecast for the future. It examined the objectives and goals of the Japanese assistance to the PA and asked if they should maintained. It also reviewed Japan’s diplomatic role in the conflict and asked if it should it be widened. Similarly, it assessed whether future relationship between Japan and Palestine should be re-organized and wondered if the current PA split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip affects Japan-PA relations.  The group examined the hopes and reality of the “Corridor of Peace and Prosperity” initiative, which constitutes the core pillar of Japan’s role in its relationship with Palestine and Israel and wondered if that initiative should be expanded and strengthened. Finally, the group explored how Palestinians see Japan and its people and how the Palestinian media covers Japan, its policies and culture.

The second workshop, which took place on 2 March, focused on specific policy choices, exploring the pros and cons of recommendations that have been proposed by the members of the joint group. These recommendations address six packages of issues: (1) The debate around the two-state framework and the Palestinian search for equal rights; (2) Enhancing the resilience of East Jerusalemites; (3) Enhancing Gazan resilience; (4) Jordan Velley and "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity;” (5) Enhancing Japan-PA diplomatic relations; and finally, (6) enhancing cultural exchanges and people to people contacts. 

Policy conclusions ....Full Report