Japan calls for establishing maritime co-operation forum to resolve South China disputes
Bali, Nov 21(ANI): Japan has stressed the need of establishing a forum for maritime cooperation, which would help resolving the South China Sea disputes.
"We were able to confirm the importance of international laws for the oceans, which are a public asset connecting the Asia-Pacific region," Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said at the East Asian Summit in Bali.
He also said the East Asian Summit participants shared the view that "maritime issues will be handled through cooperation and dialogue."
None of the leaders at the summit opposed or agreed to the Japan's proposal, the country's foreign ministry official said.
Beijing is currently embroiled in territorial disputes with the US allies, including the Philippines and Taiwan, over island groupings in the South China Sea.
Though the South China Sea dispute may not concern Japan directly, the interests at stake are linked with its own.
University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Law and Politics Professor Akio Takahara said the East China Sea issue forced Japan to intervene in the territorial claims.
Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea are administered by Japan but China and Taiwan have repeatedly claimed sovereignty over it.
"To resolve the South China Sea issue based on international norms will be in Japan's interest," the Japan Times quoted Takahara, as saying.
Experts point out that the South China Sea represents the focal point of competition between China and the United States.
"In my opinion the South China Sea is the focus of the strategic competition between China and the U.S. We ASEAN members are in the middle of the tug of war between U.S. and China," Myanmar's President Thein Sein's chief political adviser, Ko Ko Hlaing, said. (ANI)
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