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India, Japan vow to oppose attempts to change status quo in East China Sea, South China Sea regions

India, Japan vow to oppose attempts to change status quo in East China Sea, South China Sea regions

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Tokyo [Japan], December 22 (ANI): Reaffirming close cooperation, India and Japan on Tuesday vowed to continue exchanging views in light of the current events occurring in East China Sea and South China Sea region and agreed to send a clear message of their opposition to any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by coercion or any activities that escalate tension.
During the telephonic interaction, both Defence Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nobuo Kishi exchanged views on regional situations, including the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and reaffirmed their continued close cooperation.
"In this context, the ministers affirmed their intention to continue exchanging views in light of the current events occurring in the region and concurred in sending a clear message that they strongly oppose any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by coercion or any activities that escalate tension. They also shared the view on highlighting the importance of a free and open maritime order based on the rule of law," read an official statement issued by the Japanese Ministry of Defence.
It further said that the two ministers discussed the achievements of the signing of Japan-India ACSA in September and the successful completion of the naval exercise "Malabar" held by Japan, the United States, India and Australia in November.
The Defence Ministry further said, "The two ministers affirmed that they would continue to vigorously promote defense cooperation and exchanges to uphold and reinforce the Free and Open Indo-Pacific while maintaining close communication between respective defense authorities."
They also welcomed the bilateral and multilateral defense cooperation and exchanges that have been promoted despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The two ministers discussed cooperating against the risks imposed by infectious diseases that could affect peace and security and promote Japan-India efforts as follows: sharing lessons learned in humanitarian aid and disaster response (HA/DR) operations during the COVID-19 pandemic; finding new opportunities for cooperation in third countries in order to make them more resilient to the pandemic; and exchanging views on reinforcing the rules-based international order, including working together to counter disinformation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic," the Ministry said in its statement.
While Rajnath Singh congratulated Minister Kishi on his appointment as Japanese Minister of Defense, he also supported the proposal and suggested to work together, the Ministry added.
"Spoke on phone to Japan's Defence Minister, Mr Kishi Nobuo. We expressed satisfaction at the ongoing defence cooperation between the two countries. India is committed to further elevate engagements with Japan under the Special Strategic and Global partnership framework," the Indian Defence Minister said in a tweet after the conversation. (ANI)

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