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Pacific deal focuses on S. China Sea status

  • June 3, 2018
  • , The Japan News , 7:43 p.m.
  • English Press

SINGAPORE (Jiji Press) — Japan, the United States and Australia on Saturday agreed that the international community needs to cooperate to deal with any attempt to change the status quo in the South China Sea unilaterally.The agreement, which apparently had in mind China’s maritime expansion, was reached among Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne.


The officials also decided to work out a strategic action agenda providing maritime security guidelines for the three countries.


Japan “hopes to maintain a free and open maritime order in cooperation with the United States and Australia under the strategy for a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” Onodera said. He won support from Mattis and Payne.


After the trilateral meeting, Onodera said that the guidelines will include how the three countries should cooperate in a situation in which China is trying to change the status quo by force.


The three defense heads confirmed their countries’ cooperation to make North Korea take concrete actions to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges.


Onodera told Mattis and Payne that Japan wants to continue multilateral surveillance activities to prevent ship-to-ship smuggling involving North Korean vessels.


The Japanese minister also had separate meetings with his British, German and Philippine counterparts to confirm close cooperation to realize North Korea’s denuclearization.

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