Asean, Japan agree to boost maritime security cooperation

Asean, Japan agree to boost maritime security cooperation
Asean, Japan agree to boost maritime security cooperation

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (left) and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attend their Joint Chairpersons' Press Announcement after the Asean-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting in Tokyo December 17, 2023. — Eugene Hoshiko/Pool/AFP pic

TOKYO, Dec 17 — South-east Asian and Japanese leaders agreed on Sunday to boost dialogue and cooperation in “maritime security”, according to a joint statement from a summit held against the background of growing Chinese assertiveness.

Japan and the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) will “strengthen dialogue and cooperation for the maintenance of maritime security and safety, maritime order based on the rule of law, including freedom and safety of navigation and overflight and unimpeded commerce”, the statement said.

It said they would “enhance maritime domain awareness as well as cooperation among coastguards and relevant law enforcement agencies, strengthen cooperation on maritime capacity building, and ensure the resolution of disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to threat or use of force in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law”.

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Beijing claims almost the entire South China Sea, a vital trade corridor, and its increasingly aggressive behaviour in disputed areas has riled nations across the region as well as Washington. — AFP

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