UK, Japan express serious concern over East, South China seas situation

TOKYO: Four ministers from Japan and Britain voiced serious concern on Wednesday (Feb 3) in regards to the situation within the East and South China seas and opposed any unilateral makes an attempt to alter the established order, in a obvious reference to China’s maritime growth.

The joint assertion was issued after a web-based assembly of Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi of Japan, and their respective British counterparts Dominic Raab and Ben Wallace.

“The four ministers reaffirmed the importance of upholding freedom of navigation and overflight above the South China Sea and urged all parties to exercise self-restraint and refrain from activities likely to raise tensions,” the assertion stated.

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China claims nearly all of the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea, the place it has established army outposts on synthetic islands. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam even have claims to elements of the ocean.

In the East China Sea, China claims a bunch of uninhabited Japanese-administered islets, referred to as the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. The dispute has plagued bilateral relations for years.

The joint assertion was issued after a web-based assembly of the 4 ministers.

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