DAVAO CITY – Both the top-ranking foreign diplomats of the Philippines and Japan agreed that the resolution of the West Philippine Sea issue should be based on the rule of law.
In a joint press conference here on Thursday, August 11 with Foreign Affairs Sec. Perfecto Yasay Jr., Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said that the “maritime order based on the rule of law is indispensable for regional stability and prosperity.”
“It is important to base ourselves on the rule of law and the will resolve to peaceful means and not the use of force or coercion,” he said.
Yasay said the Philippines share the same concern.
“We invoke and urge China to make sure that maritime security and the rule of law must completely and uncompromisingly respected,” he said.
Yasay said the use of force, intimidation and provocations to assert one’s claim over a particular territory “is not the kind of actions that is mandated by the international law.”
He said China, or any other nation, must bring the concept of peaceful resolution under international law “and respect that rule of law.”
“So we share the same experience with Japan and we would like to say in a strongest manner that everyone must indeed respect our maritime order and security in this area, in the South China Sea and East China Sea and urge them to be firm in respect to the rule of law,” Yasay said.
Both the Philippines and Japan have existing maritime disputes with China.
Japan to support PH’s maritime security
Meanwhile, Kishida said that during his meeting with Yasay, Japan will continue to provide support for the improvement of Philippines maritime security.
He said that Japan will continue to provide 10 patrol vessels as agreed through Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the purpose of enhancing the law enforcement focusing on the Philippine sea.
The ODA consists a grant aid, technical cooperation subscriptions and contributions of Japan to the United Nations agencies and international financial institutions and government loans.
Yasay confirmed that Japan’s ODA to the Philippines is the biggest among other countries at 35 percent.
As part of the support of Japan, Yasay said that the Philippines will also receive a fastcraft from Japan this month and two large cutter type vessels “that will help us on law enforcement capabilities.”
Aside from enhancing the maritime security, Kishida said that during their meeting, they agreed to further develop the cooperation in broad areas, “including political, security, economic, cultural and other fields.”
“Japan will continue to support the Philippines through our concentrated assistance to Mindanao, including the infrastructure, development of the agriculture, as well as the assistance of Metro Manila infrastructure building among others.” Kishida said.
Yasay expressed gratitude to Japan’s assistance to beef up the country’s maritime security in terms of law enforcement. (davaotoday.com)