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Japan, U.S. defence chiefs oppose bid to alter status of Asian waters

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Defence Minister Taro Kono mentioned on Saturday he had agreed together with his U.S. counterpart Mark Esper that each nations opposed any unilateral try to change the status quo in the important thing waterways of the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

Kono shared his view with the U.S. protection secretary at a time when the United States and China are at loggerheads over points starting from expertise and human rights to Chinese navy actions within the disputed South China Sea.

A thorny subject in China’s ties with Japan is Beijing’s declare to a gaggle of tiny East China Sea islets managed by Tokyo.

“We agreed that the international community will respond firmly to any unilateral change to the status quo in the South China Sea as well as the East China Sea,” Kono mentioned.

He was talking on-line from Guam to reporters within the Japanese capital following his assembly with Esper.

Kono mentioned Esper had confirmed that the U.S.-Japan safety treaty coated the East China Sea islets, often known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China.

Turning to Japan’s home politics, Kono mentioned he would assume onerous about working in a ruling get together election to select a successor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who abruptly introduced his resignation for health causes on Friday.

The United States has lengthy opposed China’s expansive territorial claims within the South China Sea and has despatched warships repeatedly by the strategic waterway.

China claims 90% of the possibly energy-rich waters however Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam additionally lay declare to elements of it.

About $3 trillion price of commerce passes by the waterway every year. China has constructed bases atop atolls within the area however says its intentions are peaceable.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka, Antoni Slodkowski; Editing by William Mallard and Clarence Fernandez)

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