Tokyo [Japan], December 15 (ANI): Days after four Chinese ships entered the coastal waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi conveyed to his Beijing counterpart Wei Fenghe about Japan's strong concerns about the attempts to "unilaterally change the status quo by coercion".
Speaking during a video teleconference on Monday, Minister Kishi also urged China to "dispel international community's concern by improving transparency over China's defence policy and its military power".
According to an official statement issued by the Japanese Defence Ministry, "The two Ministers exchanged views on Japan-China relationship and the regional security issues. In light of the situation in the East China Sea, including the waters around the Senkaku Islands, which are an inherent part of the territory of Japan, Minister Kishi firmly delivered Japan's position over the Senkaku Islands."
Kishi also conveyed Japan's strong concerns about the attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by coercion, noting individual events such as PLA and Chinese government vessels' activities and strongly urged to refrain from action that could escalate tensions.
On the situation in the South China Sea, the Japanese Minister conveyed his country's concerns over the current situation, and pointed out the importance of the rule of law and self-restraint, the Ministry said.
"Furthermore, Minister Kishi urged China to dispel the international community's concern by improving transparency over China's defence policy and its military power," the statement added.
China has been increasing its maritime activities in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months, partly in response to Beijing's concerns over the increasing US military presence in the region because of escalating Sino-US tensions.
The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory, in terms of history and international law. It says there is no issue of sovereignty to be resolved over them.
Beijing's rising assertiveness against counter claimants in the East and South Sea has resulted in unprecedented agreement across the Indian-Pacific.
During Monday's interaction, Chinese State Councilor Wei congratulated Kishi, who is the younger brother of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on his appointment as Minister of Defence in Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's Cabinet.
The two Ministers also agreed to continue communications between defence authorities considering the great importance of stable Japan-China relationship for peace, stability and prosperity in the region and also in the international community, the Japanese Defence Ministry added. (ANI)