TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Suga, Morrison share "grave concerns" over China

  •  

    Kyodo News

Tokyo, Japan   /   Thu, February 25, 2021   /   08:22 pm
Suga, Morrison share Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (right) bow at the start of their meeting at Suga's official residence in Tokyo on November 17, 2020. (Agence France Presse/Eugene Hoshiko)

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Thursday shared "grave concerns" over China's assertiveness in surrounding waters, Japan's Foreign Ministry said.

The leaders agreed to work closely together to counter China's "unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force" in the East and South China seas, according to the ministry.

During their phone talks, Suga also pointed to Beijing's introduction of a law authorizing its coast guard to use weapons against intruders into its territory as particularly problematic, it said.

Suga also tweeted that they discussed cooperation toward the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific, collaboration through the Quad, a four-way informal forum of democratic countries also involving the United States and India, and regional issues.

"We, as Special Strategic Partners, will further deepen our cooperation in a wide range of areas such as security and economy," he said.

China asserts sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, a group of uninhabited islets administrated by Japan in the East China Sea, frequently sending ships nearby to project its power.

China has also continued the militarization of artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea despite an international 2016 ruling against its claims.

During the 40-minute call, the leaders also shared serious concerns regarding the situation in Hong Kong and China's far-western region of Xinjiang, where human rights abuses against the Muslim Uyghur minority have been widely reported, as well as over the military coup in Myanmar, according to the ministry.

The ministry said Morrison praised Japan for its preparations to host this summer's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and expressed support for its efforts to secure the return of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.