Japan, Vietnam boost defence ties as South China Sea tensions mount
Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (centre L) and Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (centre R) walk together after a press briefing at Government Office in Hanoi on October 19, 2020.
AFP/Minh HOANG, Pool
Japan, Vietnam boost defence ties as South China Sea tensions mount
(Agence France-Presse) - October 19, 2020 - 6:36pm

HANOI, Vietnam — Japan and Vietnam agreed to step up security and defence cooperation Monday, reaching an agreement in principle for Tokyo to export defence equipment and technology to the Southeast Asian nation.

The deal comes as concerns mount over China's increasing assertiveness in the contested South China Sea, with Beijing expanding its military presence in the region.

The pact would allow Japan to export equipment, likely including patrol planes and radar, to Vietnam, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo.

"It is a big step in the field of security and defence cooperation between the two countries that we reached an agreement in principle on the transfers of defence equipment and technology," said Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in Hanoi during his first visit overseas since taking office last month.

"And I believe that it will advance further."

The resource-rich South China Sea is claimed in its entirety by Beijing but is also contested by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

China has reinforced its claim to the waterway by building up small shoals and reefs into military bases with airstrips and port facilities, and it launched ballistic missiles in the flashpoint waters in August as part of live-fire exercises.

"The two sides agreed to tighten cooperation before regional challenges including the issue of the South China Sea," said Suga.

They would also work together on the issue of Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea, he said.

Japan suspects dozens of people who are still missing were abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s to train their own spies in the Japanese language and culture.

Japan and Vietnam also reached an agreement on starting "business track" flights after travel between the two nations was suspended in March.

This would allow executives and skilled workers to travel without a 14-day quarantine period provided they follow certain COVID-19 precautions, Kyodo said.

JAPAN SOUTH CHINA SEA VIETNAM
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: August 27, 2020 - 9:37am

The United States Navy's Nimitz-class nuclear powered supercarrier USS John C. Stennis continues underway in the South China Sea.

The US Pacific Command just reported that it has received "cargo" from support ship USNS Rainier in the disputed waters.

August 27, 2020 - 9:37am

China said a US spy plane entered a no-fly zone used by the Chinese military for live-fire drills, branding it an act of provocation, state media said Tuesday.

The U-2 reconnaissance jet's flight over an area in northern China violated safety rules between the two nations, Xinhua reported, citing Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian.

"The US action could easily have resulted in misjudgments and even accidents," said the report, adding "that the move was an obvious provocation." — AFP

July 14, 2020 - 7:34am

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States would treat Beijing's pursuit of resources in the dispute-rife South China Sea as illegal, ramping up pressure on another front.

"We are making clear: Beijing's claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them," Pompeo says in a statement.

The United States has long rejected Beijing's sweeping claims in the South ChinaSea, aligning itself with Vietnam, the Philippines and other US partners in the region. — AFP

July 3, 2020 - 7:28am

The Pentagon says it is "concerned" about Chinese military exercises around a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea, noting the maneuvers will "further destabilize" the region.

"The Department of Defense is concerned about the People's Republic of China (PRC) decision to conduct military exercises around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on July 1-5," the Pentagon says in a statement.

The activities "further destabilize the situation" in the area claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan, it says. — AFP

April 30, 2020 - 4:15pm

The Philippines says it strongly protests "the establishment of the so-called districts of 'Nansha' and 'Xisha' under the supposed administrative jurisdiction of its self-declared 'Sansha City'" which would cover parts of the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs says it has protested since 2012 the "unlawful establishment of Sansha City" that includes Philippine territory and maritime zones in the WPS, including the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo de Masinloc.

The Philippines also protests the dseignation of Kagitingan Reef in the Kalayaan Island Group "as adinistrative center for the so-called 'Nansha district'," saying the reef is part of the KIG and an integral part of Philippine territory.

April 27, 2020 - 1:41pm

Sen. Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution to urge the executive branch to "exert legal and diplomatic pressure" on China over its activities in the West Philippine and to have the regional giant pay for enviromental damage in the area.

"China's sense of entitlement to our seas has caused severe and irreparable harm to our ecosystems," Hontiveros says in a statement on the filing of Philippine Senate Resolution No. 369.

Even if the Senate, the majority of which supports the Duterte administration and its foreign policy with China, adopts the resolution, it is non-binding on the executive branch.

"Hindi tayo kolonya, kaya panahon nang singilin ng gobyerno ang Tsina (We are not a colony so it's about time that we have China pay)," she also says.

In her resolution, Hontiveros says "unlawful Chinese activities in the West Philippine Sea are estimated to have caused at last P33 billion in damage annually to marine ecosystems within the Philippines' continental shelf and exclusive economic zone" since 2013, the year that the Philippines filed its arbitration case.

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with