The new Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga pledged on Wednesday. He pledged to help the Southeast Asian nations increase their maritime security capabilities. This was his first overseas trip as a leader of Japan. He used this trip in order to push its countries to a vision for greater international cooperation. This was also to counter China’s influence in the region.
Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga visited the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. Here, he spoke a few words about Chinese activities. These words can also be considered a thinly veiled dig towards the Chinese activities in the disputed South China sea. The dispute is over the land where they have built and militarized man-made islands. Now, they are busy pressing its claim to virtually all of sea’s key fisheries and waterways. However, a number of Southeast nations dispute China’s claim over the water bodies.
What Do Japan And Suga Think?
“In the Indo-Pacific that connects maritime transport between Japan and ASEAN, we can achieve the peace and prosperity only by fully implementing rule of law that allows anyone freedom and openness,” Suga told a news conference in Jakarta.
ASEAN is the 11-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Nonetheless, there were a few statements added to the above statement.
“But in the South China Sea, opposite actions are being taken and we are closely watching with grave concern,” Suga said. “Japan opposes to any action that would increase tensions in the South China Sea.”
Suga has also reemphasised that all the parties that are involved in the South China Sea dispute are to not take any steps which involve force. Instead, they are expected to make peaceful efforts towards resolution.
The Prime Minister Of Japan pledged to strengthen the bilateral defence ties. These ties are expected to be strengthened with Southeast Asian nations. They have also been promised further assistance to step up their maritime policing. This includes training and equipment transfer from the Japanese Coast Guard.
After this speech, Suga was wrapping up his visit to Indonesia. He chose the country Vietnam as a part of his tour. More specifically, the second leg of his tour. The reason Suga chose Vietnam and Indonesia as a part of his first overseas trip was that he wanted to show how important these regions are to Japan.
Japan considers the growing military of China a security threat. Although it’s defense papers have accused China of unilaterally changing the status quo in the South China Sea with its actions there. China’s claim to the Japanese controlled Senakaku islands is also concerning to Jpan. These islands are called as Diaoyu id China, more specifically the East China.
Suga has denied China’s criticism. Ths might be Suga’s attempt to create a NATO in Asia. NATO means North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. On the other hand ASEAN stands for Association Of South East Asian Nations. This was established in Bangkok in 1967. It was established in order toaccelarate economic growth, social progress as well as cultural development. It was also established to promote peace and stability in the region.