Home Semasa #Semasa: Japan wary of unilateral attempts in East China Sea

#Semasa: Japan wary of unilateral attempts in East China Sea

by Air Times Correspondent

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 JULY – Japan is taking a firm stand against unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, in violation of international laws, in the East China Sea.

Japanese ambassador to Malaysia Katsuhiko Takahashi said that Japan hoped to work together with like-minded countries within ASEAN, particularly Malaysia, to manage possible security threats in the region.

He said that ever since the Japan Self-Defence Force (JSDF) took its present composition in 1954, under the current peaceful constitution, it had consistently strived to build trust as the organisation responsible for his country’s maintenance of peace and security.

“The path the JSDF has walked was never flat and smooth, but through tenacious efforts, it now has obtained wide-ranging understanding and support both domestically and internationally.

“Last December, Japan renewed its security documents. These documents clearly highlight the need to reinforce Japan’s defence capabilities in response to the current security environment surrounding us,” Takahashi said at a reception in conjunction with the ‘69th JSDF Day’ at his residence in Jalan Langgak Golf, Taman U-Thant.

Present were guest-of-honour, Malasian Armed Forces assistant chief of staff (Defence Operations and Training) Major-Gen Datuk Khairul Anuar Abd Aziz, out-going Japan Defence attache Col Hiroshi Morita and his successor Col Satoshi Arita.

Takahashi said that the media tended to pay attention to issues of counterstrike capability and the strategic security-budget increase.

“I want to emphasise that Japan’s basic approach has never changed, and diplomatic capabilities remain as the first pillar for peace and security in this strategy,” he said.

He pointed out that one of the most severe and pressing security challenges that the world faced now was Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

“The very foundation of the international order is shaken. We need to work together to overcome the challenges, including in the East China Sea.

“In order to maintain safety and security in Asia, we should see the security environment through the framework of the two oceans, with Southeast Asia at the centre.

“JSDF can work together with its counterparts to implement the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo Pacific (AOIP) that shares fundamental principles with the ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ to maintain peace, security, stability and prosperity,” Takahashi said.

He reminisced how the partnership of Japan with Malaysia had always been successful since establishing diplomatic relations in 1957, and that the latest 2018 bilateral defence co-operation was no exception.

“Now that the Covid-19 pandemic is over, defence exchanges are returning to previous levels.

“The Maritime JSDF and the Royal Malaysian Navy exchanged visits of ships.

“Last year, RMN chief Admiral Abdul Rahman Ayob came to Japan onboard the KD Kelantan frigate.

“At this year’s Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace 2023 show, Japan’s frigate Kumano was reviewed by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim,” said Takahashi.

Additionally, he said that Malaysia and Japan exchanged military personnel.

He cited four Malaysian officers who had graduated from the National Defence Academy of Japan, while seven others were currently enrolled there.

“On the other hand, 14 Japanese have studied at the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College, including defence attaché Colonel Morita and his successor Colonel Arita.

“I hope these exchanges will create an environment to further facilitate defence collaboration and contribute to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, in this challenging security environment.

“We hope our 50 years’ of cooperation will continue another 50 years and beyond,” Takahashi said. – airtimes.my

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