Japan Faces Difficulty Expanding United Front against Russia


Tokyo, April 10 (Jiji Press)--Japan, which keeps in step with the United States and European countries in imposing strong sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, also wants Southeast Asian nations to get tough against Moscow in order to prevent a sanctions loophole and boost the effectiveness of the measures in place.

But the task to expand the united front against Russia is not easy, because some countries in Southeast Asia traditionally have strong relations with Moscow.

In Tokyo on Saturday, Japan and the Philippines, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, held the first two-plus-two security talks among their foreign and defense ministers.

On the Ukraine crisis, the ministers said in a joint statement that they "shared the view that aggression against a U.N. member state, which infringes upon its sovereignty and territorial integrity, constitutes a serious violation of international law prohibiting the use of force and is a grave breach of the U.N. Charter." But the statement did not name Russia or touch on sanctions against the nation.

Among the 10 ASEAN nations, Vietnam and Laos, both socialist countries, have deep relations with Russia. At an emergency meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Thursday, a resolution to suspend Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council was passed with a majority vote, with support from more than 90 countries, including Japan, the United States, Britain and France. But Vietnam and Laos were among some 20 countries that voted against it.

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