Suga Warns China over South China Sea
Jakarta, Oct. 21 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga effectively warned China on Wednesday against any moves that escalate tensions in the South China Sea, where the country is showing growing assertiveness.
"We oppose any action to raise tensions in the South China Sea," Suga told a news conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, wrapping up his first overseas trip since he took office last month. During the Asian trip, he also visited Vietnam.
"I've renewed my determination to steadily realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region while continuing to conduct summit diplomacy and working closely with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations," he said.
Suga noted that the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific does not target any specific country and that Japan can collaborate with any country that shares the same views on the initiative.
"We have no plans at all to create an Indo-Pacific version of NATO," Suga said, apparently mindful of China's opposition to the initiative.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]