Japan, ASEAN for free air, seas

National 1 minute, 33 seconds

TOKYO

SOUTHEAST Asian leaders and Japan have agreed to resolve the region’s air and sea disputes in a peaceful manner that complies with international laws, said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

During a joint press conference with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the prime minister said leaders welcomed the agreement with positive expectations, as they expressed support to a “proactive contribution to peace”.

The Japanese premier was speaking as co-chair of the 40th ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit following the conclusion of the meeting in Tokyo.

A joint communique of the summit noted disputes relating to China, stating: “Japan welcomed the official consultations between ASEAN and China on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea”.

"In the area of economy, here are strong expectations for Japan's new economic policy on the maritime issues especially concerning the South China Sea,” said Abe.

Leaders agreed that all relevant countries should not take measures to unilaterally change the status quo, and that they should comply with the relevant international laws, " he added.

“Leaders confirmed the importance of freedom of flight in international air space which is a general principle of international law”, added the Japanese prime minister, noting that all leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in ensuring the freedom of overflight and civil aviation.

As part of the vision statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, Southeast Asian leaders and Japan reaffirmed their efforts in strengthening cooperation in four areas of partnership, including peace and stability.

Under that area of partnership, the leaders agreed to resolve disputes by “peaceful means including through dialogue and consultations, renunciation of the threat or use of force and in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law”.

A vision statement on ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation touched on air and sea disputes, but there was no mention of a specific country.

The Brunei Times