Japan, Philippines Leaders Eye Maritime Security in Tokyo Talks

Tokyo, June 24 (QNA) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Philippine President Benigno Aquino held a meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday at which they are likely to affirm closer ties in ensuring maritime security amid China’s increasing assertiveness in the South and East China seas.

Abe and Aquino are expected to reaffirm their opposition to any attempt to alter the status quo by force or coercion, apparently taking aim at China’s muscle-flexing in the seas, according to Japanese officials.

China has been challenging Japan’s control of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, while the Philippines is involved in territorial disputes in the South China Sea with Beijing and its smaller neighbors.

Last week, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Manila plans to ask the U.N. arbitral tribunal to make a speedy ruling on its dispute with China over exploiting waters in the South China Sea after Beijing refused to take part in the proceedings. Del Rosario said Manila hopes to get the ruling by next year.

In the meeting with Aquino, Abe is also likely to brief him about discussions in Japan on his bid to change the government’s interpretation of the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

After meeting Abe in Tokyo, Aquino is scheduled to attend a Japan International Cooperation Agency-sponsored event in Hiroshima on the peace process on Mindanao Island in southern Philippines. (QNA)

Leave a Reply