Foreign Minister Taro Kono tried to cause no offense and to keep Japan firmly sitting on the fence as he reacted to U.S. President Donald Trump's widely lambasted decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

He admitted that Trump's resolution may increase tensions in the Middle East, but then praised the U.S. president almost in the same breath.

“We fear that (Trump’s) announcement may intensify the harshness of the peace process as well as exacerbate the circumstances in the Middle East,” he said of the decision, which has been slammed by European Union nations.

But treading carefully so as not to rock the U.S.-Japan alliance, Kono also praised Trump in the same news conference on Dec. 7.

"We appreciate Trump saying he had a strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement as well as to support a two-state solution,” Kono said.

Trump has also directed that the U.S. Embassy be moved to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Japan has no intention of switching the location of its own embassy.

The Foreign Ministry also called for vigilance about possible massive protests in the Middle East.

Japan has friendly relations with many Middle Eastern nations through the oil business.

In 2006, then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced a "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" in the aim of supporting the financial independence of Palestine.

Since then, the government has encouraged peaceful solutions to problems in the region.

The Abe administration is currently hoping to invite the leaders of Israel, Palestine and Jordan to Japan to hold meetings behind closed doors.

Kono plans to visit the Middle Eastern region including Israel and Palestine at the end of this month. Some government officials, however, have started to say that Kono should reschedule the timing of his visit.

If Japan supported Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, it would inevitably lose the trust of many nations in the Middle East. But also it cannot allow itself to be seen as harsh toward Trump.

“Japan has no choice but to sit on the fence,” said a high-ranking Foreign Ministry official.