The Japanese government is “determined” to ensure peace and stability in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), where China’s imposing and aggressive presence has been a source of dispute among Asian countries.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in his meeting with President Benigno Aquino 3rd, said his determination to maintain peace and stability in the region is based on the principle of “Proactive Contribution to Peace.”
The two heads of states, whose countries have been diplomatically battling with Beijing’s economic and political strength, discussed the issues arising from the West Philippine Sea disputes during the Japan-Philippines Summit Meeting held in Brunei Darussalam.
Abe reiterated “Japan’s basic position that disputes must be solved peacefully in accordance with relevant international laws.”
Japan, just like the Philippines, is in a territorial dispute with China over the small uninhabited island in the East China Sea called Senkaku by the Japanese and Diaoyu by the Chinese.
On the other hand, Manila and Beijing have traded diplomatic barbs since April last year when Chinese maritime vessels intruded into the Panatag Shoal.
The Philippines has brought the case before an arbitration court under the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (Itlos) in The Hague.
Meanwhile, Abe also reiterated Tokyo’s aim to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries based on the “four initiatives in diplomacy with the Philippines” which he stated during his visit to the Philippines in July this year.
These are nurturing of vibrant economies together; promotion of cooperation in maritime affairs; strengthening of the assistance for the Mindanao Peace Process; and promotion of people-to-people exchanges.
The prime minister also stated that his government is working for the prompt provision of patrol vessels to the Philippine Coast Guard.