Japan has reiterated its slogan of utilizing the International Court of Justice to enforce laws in the peaceful resolution of territorial disputes. This was the spirit of the speech given by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) annual summit which is currently taking place in Cambodia.
Noda told the leaders of the ASEAN member nations that issues related to the South China Sea are a matter of international concern. Although he does not specifically mention any names, he was clearly referring to territorial disputes that China is currently engaged in with ASEAN members such as Vietnam and the Philippines. Noda recalled the friendship and strategic partnership between Japan and the ASEAN in promoting stability and peace in the region, which included maritime security. Noda said that Japan is willing to help in the peaceful resolution of disputes that involve ASEAN members. He also noted that the ties between Japan and China is one its most important bilateral relationships.
Japan and ASEAN members also tackled disaster management cooperation, especially after Japan and several ASEAN nations have been exposed to devastating natural disasters recently. The Japanese premier also pledged his support for creating an economic community in the Asia-Pacific region by 2015. The ASEAN are looking forward to the creation of what it calls the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free trade framework that includes the ten ASEAN members and six regional partners composed of Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand.
[via Kyodo News]