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Japan calls out China anew in recent surge in tensions in South China Sea

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The Japanese government issued a statement regarding the recent Chinese Coast Guard and other Chinese vessels’ attack against Filipino vessels by water cannoning and ramming them near the Scarborough Shoal and Second Thomas Shoal.

Below is the full statement:

1.              Japan reiterates serious concern over actions which increase regional tensions including recent dangerous actions that caused a collision between Chinese and Filipino ships.

2.              As stated in the MOFA Press Release on October 23, 2023, Japan believes that the issue concerning the South China Sea is directly related to the peace and stability of the region and is a legitimate concern of the international community including Japan, and thus Japan opposes any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force as well as any actions that increase tensions in the South China Sea.

3.              As stated in the Japan-Philippines Joint Statement (PDF) Open a New Window in February 2023, the Government of Japan concurs with the Philippines’ long-standing objections to unlawful maritime claims, militarization, coercive activities and threat or use of force in the South China Sea.

4.              Furthermore, Japan highly appreciates the Government of the Philippines for having consistently complied with the Arbitral Tribunal’s award as to the disputes between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China regarding the South China Sea and shown its commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea, as stated in the statement by the Foreign Minister of Japan issued on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of the issuance of the award.

5.              Japan has consistently advocated upholding the rule of law at sea and re-emphasizes the importance of efforts toward a peaceful resolution of disputes based on international law.

6.              Japan will continue to cooperate with the international community such as ASEAN Member States and the United States to protect free, open, and peaceful seas.

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