Japan, ASEAN Share Grave Concern over South China Sea

Politics

Bangkok, Aug. 1 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his counterparts in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations shared grave concern on Thursday over China's militarization of the South China Sea, informed sources said.

The situation in the sea is worsening every year, Kono said at a meeting of Japanese and ASEAN foreign ministers in Bangkok, according to the sources.

Related countries should work together toward the peaceful settlement of conflicts and keep the waters nonmilitarized, Kono said.

Referring to a code of conduct that ASEAN and China are aiming to compile to prevent conflicts, Kono expressed hope that such guidelines will help realize a peaceful and open South China Sea.

Japan is cautious about the possible inclusion of a clause in the code to exclude non-ASEAN countries such as Japan and the United States from joint military drills and the development of resources.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press