JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) — Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan agreed to strengthening the cooperations in South China Sea security, regional trade, also stated support over North Korea denuclearization. The commitment mentioned in the 21st ASEAN Japan Summit on Thursday (15/11) in Singapore.
ASEAN and Japan highlighted the implementation of South China Sea Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea towards Code of Conduct framework. The meeting also reaffirmed the need to exercise self-restraint and non-militarisation to avoid actions by claimants and all other states, that may further complicate the situation.
“We reaffirmed our shared commitment to maintaining and promoting peace, security and stability in the region, as well as to the peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” said Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as an ASEAN Chairman at the meeting.
Some ASEAN countries under dispute with China over South China Sea. China’s nine dash line claim collides with Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, and Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone. Meanwhile, Japan’s export across South China Sea valued US$141 billion in 2016. Annually, $5.3 trillion worth of goods worldwide, transit through the South China Sea.
Moreover, ASEAN and Japan also agreed on enhancing economic cooperations through agreements, Not only through ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEP) agreement, but also some Indo-Pacific mechanism and the under-discussion Regional CEP free-trade agreement.
Last year, Japan ranked fourth largest trading parter valued $219 billion and second biggest Foreign Direct Investment with $13.2 billion to ASEAN.
In the meeting, ASEAN and Japan also reinforced its cooperation in defense, counter-terrorism, cyber security, drug trafficking, and climate change.
Other than cooperation, ASEAN and Japan support North Korea complete denuclearization and its pledge to refrain from further nuclear and missile tests. Both parties urged the realization of the lasting peace and stability on a denuclearised Korean Peninsula, through implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration, Pyongyang Joint Declaration and US-North Korea leaders Joint Statement.
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