Vietnam, Japan Discuss South China Sea Issue

According to the Japanese defense minister, countries need to work together to maintain and strengthen the international order based on free and open rules.
September 14, 2021 | 17:33
Vietnam, Japan Discuss South China Sea Issue
Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo and Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on September 12. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh received Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo, who was on an official visit to Vietnam on September 12. In this meeting, the two discussed the South China Sea (Bien Dong Sea) issue.

Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc also presented at the meeting, which was the official visit of Kishi Nobuo as a Japanese defense minister.

Japan plays an increasingly larger role in maintaining peace, stability, and development in the region and in the world. The country is also one of the most important and reliable partners in Vietnam's foreign policy, the Vietnamese side said.

Regarding maritime issues, including the Bien Dong Sea, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed Vietnam's position of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, freedom of navigation, and overflight. Vietnam hoped to settle disputes and disagreements at sea by peaceful means through diplomatic processes on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), protecting the legitimate interests of involving countries.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc appreciated Japan's stance on ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, as well as the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in the South China Sea. the basis of respect for international law, especially UNCLOS 1982, and the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

Vietnam, Japan Discuss South China Sea Issue
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh received Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo. (Photo: VNA)

Kishi Nobuo said that the two countries share universal principles that played an important role in regulating international relations, one of which was to respect the law at sea. "Free and open seas have been the cornerstone of our prosperity since ancient times," said Kishi. "We are now facing an unprecedentedly severe reality, including in the security arena, in addition to the difficulties of dealing with Covid-19," he said.

He spoke of the sea and airspace in the South and East China Sea, where "there are cases where actions are being taken, based on one-sided assertions that are incompatible with the existing international order."

"In the South China Sea, China has continued to militarize disputed terrain, frequently conducted military exercises, and is believed to have launched ballistic missiles, escalating its actions. Japan strongly opposes unilateral attempts to change the status quo by coercion and any activities that raise tensions, and shares concerns with Vietnam," he said

According to the Japanese official, countries need to work together to maintain and strengthen the international order based on free and open rules.

Defense minister Kishi affirmed that the two countries' defense relations had entered a new stage of development. He emphasized that Vietnam played an increasingly important strategic role, and Japan would continue to cooperate with Vietnam in priority areas such as overcoming war consequences, United Nations peacekeeping, transferring equipment, defense technology and search and rescue.

The Vietnamese leader shared Japan's difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and highly appreciated Japan's timely and effective support for countries affected by the pandemic, including Vietnam. On this occasion, prime minister Pham Minh Chinh and president Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked for Japan's continuous support of vaccines and access to vaccines for Vietnam, especially in September and October.

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