Japan, Pacific Island States Affirm Maritime Security Cooperation
Tokyo, Sept. 2 (Jiji Press)--Defense ministers from Japan and Pacific island nations at an online meeting Thursday confirmed their countries' cooperation in the field of maritime security.
In a joint statement released after the Japan Pacific Islands Defense Dialogue, the participants emphasized the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight in line with the Japanese-proposed free and open Indo-Pacific initiative.
They also agreed to work together on novel coronavirus measures, disaster management and the denuclearization of North Korea.
"Our Pacific region is facing new challenges," Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said at the beginning of the meeting. He called for stepped-up cooperation, pointing to the fight against authoritarianism, apparently with China in mind, on top of issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and natural disasters.
The virtual meeting was participated by defense ministers from 13 Pacific island nations, including Fiji, Tonga and Micronesia, in addition to Kishi, and government representatives from countries including the United States, Australia and Britain. Samoa and Chile were unable to attend due to bad internet connections.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]