Kishida mentions danger to Rule of Law in Philippine speech|Arab News Japan

MANILA: Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio told the Philippine Congress on Saturday that the international order based on the rule of law is in “grave danger,” apparently referring to China’s growing assertiveness in the East and South China Seas.

Kishida stressed that multilayered cooperation among allies and like-minded countries, including the United States, is essential to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order.

This is the first time a Japanese prime minister has addressed the Philippine Congress.

Noting that the international community faces complicated and complex challenges such as climate change and infectious diseases, Kishida said, “The world must not be divided by ideologies or values under these circumstances.”

The Japanese leader expressed his determination to “lead the international community toward cooperation and protect freedom and the rule of law.”

He welcomed the participation of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces in a US-Philippine military exercise, as well as the first-ever coast guard exercise among the three countries in June.

Kishida called for “protecting the maritime order with the rule of law and rules, not force.”

Kishida also referred to a bilateral agreement under which Japan will provide coastal surveillance radars to the Philippines as part of its official security assistance, or OSA.

“Japan will continue to help the Philippines improve its security capabilities and contribute to regional peace and stability,” the prime minister said.

Nearly half a century after then Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda outlined the principles of Japan’s diplomacy toward the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in his 1977 speech in Manila, Kishida said that relations between Japan and the Philippines are “stronger than ever.”

A special summit between Japan and ASEAN will be held in Tokyo in December to mark 50 years of friendship and cooperation. At the event, Japan “hopes to work out a vision with ASEAN to pass on the trust between us to the next generation and create a new era,” Kishida said.

JIJI Press

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