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Japanese Deputy FM expresses concerns over recent developments in East Sea

VGP – Deputy Foreign Minister and head of SOM ASEAN of Viet Nam Nguyen Quoc Dung and Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Takeo Mori co-chaired the 35th ASEAN-Japan Forum, which was held virtually on October 14.

October 14, 2020 5:25 PM GMT+7

The 35th ASEAN-Japan Forum is held virtually, October 14, 2020 - Photo: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Delegates to the event reviewed the ASEAN-Japan cooperation progress, including the implementation of the outcomes of the ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting and preparations for the 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit and discussed international and regional issues of common concerns. 

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeo Mori asserted that Japan will enhance cooperation with the Southeast Asian nations, attaching importance to the ASEAN centrality. 

Japan advocates the ASEAN Outlook for the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) , expecting to coordinate with the bloc in implementing the AOIP, he asserted. 

The Japanese diplomat spoke highly of ASEAN’s efforts in the COVID-19 pandemic fight, affirming Japan's support for the grouping in containing the pandemic, mitigating negative impacts of COVID-19 on socio-economic development and boosting sustainable recovery. 

Japan will help ASEAN build the ASEAN Center For Disease Control in a bid to help the Association strengthen response to new infectious diseases, he added. 

Regarding the East Sea issue, Mori underlined the importance of peace and stability in the region, expressing concerns over recent developments in the East Sea.

Mori called for dialogues and enhanced efforts in trust-building, self-restraint, non-militarization, avoidance of use or threat of force, and settlement of disputes through peaceful measures on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Japan hopes that the relevant parties fully and effective implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon complete the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law and the UNCLOS.

For his side, Deputy Foreign Minister Dung highly valued the positive developments in ASEAN-Japan cooperation despite challenges and difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, calling on ASEAN and Japan to continue close cooperation in controlling the pandemic.

Dung re-emphasized ASEAN's principled positions on the East Sea enshrined in the Chairman's Statement of the 36th ASEAN Summit, in which the regional leaders  reaffirm the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the East Sea and recognise the benefits of having the East Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity./.

By Thuy Dung