Saturday morning’s Asahi wrote that the U.S., Japan, and South Korea held a vice foreign ministerial meeting on July 14 in Hawaii. The paper wrote that Vice President Biden attended the opening of the session and commented on the recent ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration that rejected China’s claims over the South China Sea by reportedly saying that it is important for the three nations to express their support for the rule of law. The paper interpreted this remark as calling on China to respect the court ruling. Vice President Biden also commented on North Korea’s provocations, including nuclear and missile tests, by reportedly saying that the three nations will work together to take firm steps toward Pyongyang. Deputy Secretary of State Blinken, Vice Foreign Minister Sugiyama, and South Korea’s First Vice Foreign Minister Lim shared the view at the talks that the tribunal ruling is binding. Ambassador Kennedy also participated in the meeting.
Yomiuri wrote that Deputy Secretary Blinken commented on the international court ruling by reportedly saying that the United States, Japan, and the ROK are in full agreement that the issue should be resolved based on international law. The paper interpreted this remark as calling on China to accept the verdict. The paper also wrote that the Washington is concerned that China will continue ignoring the court ruling and escalate its military activities in the South China Sea. The paper added that Vice President Biden commented on China’s moves to designate an air defense identification zone over the South China Sea by reportedly saying that it is necessary for the U.S., Japan, and the ROK to oppose the moves.
Nikkei ran a brief report in its political news section on page 4 saying that according to MOFA, the U.S., Japan, and the ROK confirmed their position of not allowing North Korea to continue its nuclear and missile development, and agreed to strengthen their missile defense against Pyongyang and urge other nations to strictly implement UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea.