|Japan and ASEAN share a number of interests, including politics, economy, security and defence. They enjoy stable relations on the basis of equality and contributions to peace, stability and security in the region and the world. — VNA/VNS Photo Huu Thang/ Truong Giang
TOKYO (VNS) — Japan and ASEAN nations have agreed to promote bilateral ties to ensure peace and stability in the East Sea and East China Sea, Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh said yesterday.
Vinh, who is attending the sixth ASEAN-Japan Deputy Ministers' Meeting in Yokohama city, told Vietnam News Agency the two sides agreed that all parties should implement measures to prevent challenging situations from turning into military confrontations.
Japan and ASEAN share a number of interests, including politics, economy, security and defence. They enjoy stable relations on the basis of equality and contributions to peace, stability and security in the region and the world.
The two sides also expressed concern over recent developments in the East Sea and East China Sea, which they said were attributable to violations of international law and national sovereignty.
The violations affected maritime security and safety, as well as freedom of trade, Vinh said.
To address security challenges, Japan proposed a number of specific initiatives to enhance co-operation with ASEAN countries, such as disaster relief, piracy prevention, and search and rescue efforts.
The two sides highlighted the need to adopt a common perception on international law, and act peacefully without the use or threat to use force, Vinh said. They agreed that if conflict did take place, the parties concerned would need to hold bilateral and multilateral dialogues to settle the issue.
With regard to making progress on the Japan-ASEAN ties in defence and security, the Vietnamese official said the first step for both sides was to reach a consensus on the need to strengthen security ties and create a joint awareness of interests and challenges.
Vinh said ASEAN and Japan had developed a deep trust in their partnership, adding they should work together closely to develop a Code of Conduct in the East Sea .
During the meeting, which focused on reviewing the current status of maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region and the challenges the region is facing in maintaining and improving maritime security, participants agreed to increase co-operation on search and rescue efforts and the maritime defence industry.
They also highlighted the importance of developing a common perception on the conduct of parties at sea in line with international law.
Japan and ASEAN have developed a growing security-defence arrangement in recent years. Japan was the first country to organise a defence forum and establish multilateral relations with ASEAN. — VNS