Japan reassures Lanka: No militarisation of Indian OceanView(s):
From Ameen Izzadeen in Hiroshima
Japan yesterday said that the Quadrilateral Security Alliance or Quad, of which it is a member along with the United States, India and Australia, would no way lead to the militarisation of the Indian Ocean or increase tension in the region vis-à-vis any other country.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s International Press Division Director Tsukamoto Yasuhiro said, “of course, security is important in the Indo-Pacific region. But the Quad is not meant to think about some countries and it is not a threat to any countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Japan, the US, India and Australia share fundamental values.”
The interview was agreed on condition that the questions were screened by the Foreign Ministry and should be G7 specific.
Mr. Yasuhiro, who is also the assistant spokesman, said, the Quad was an important pragmatic forum for members to cooperate on not only security matters but also on climate change, vaccination and similar issues.
The Indo-Pacific was one of the items on the G7 agenda and Japan, together with its Quad colleagues, has been insisting on freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region.
During talks with US President Joe Biden on Friday, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumo Kishido confirmed cooperation on promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Mr. Kishida said the Japan-US alliance was the very foundation of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific.
Confirming this cooperation, the Foreign Ministry’s International Press Division Director Yasuhiro said, “Freedom of navigation is important to us. Japan is an island just like Sri Lanka. So we know the importance of the sea and the freedom of navigation.”
He said the G7 leaders reiterated the importance of establishing a free and open rule-based international order.
The G7 leaders also discussed the global economic crisis with special focus on the global south.
When asked whether there would be more G7 relief measures in the form of haircuts and debt- repayment concessions to developing countries such as Sr Lanka which was struggling to cope with the global economic downturn, Mr. Yasuhiro said the G7 countries showed strong unity in tackling the global economic crisis.
“With regard to Sri Lanka, Japan pleads for debt restructuring. Japan together with France and India has formed a creditor committee and through this we would like to resolve this issue. Towards this end, the Paris Club forum assumes greater importance given the circumstances of a global economic downturn and you know one of the reasons for this is Russia’s aggression on Ukraine.”
Asked why there was no peace initiatives from G7 to end the Ukraine war, the media director said the G7 communique on Ukraine had underlined the need to end the war through sanctions on Russia and increased support to Ukraine.
“We should put an end to the war. This is a complete and clear message by the G7 countries. We consider the visit of the Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Hiroshima to address the world leaders as an important move. We are with Ukraine and we extend our fullest support to Ukraine and all G7 leaders are United in this resolve. From Hiroshima, a city which was devastated by war, we say we are against the war in Ukraine.”
Asked whether G7 was expediting the formalisation of a new Cold War and whether it was becoming a forum whereby an elite group of countries was taking the moral high ground to advise the rest of the world how they should behave, Mr. Yasuhiro said Japan did not want to give a definition to the new Cold War.
“To the Hiroshima summit, apart from G7 countries, we invited eight other countries — such as India, Australia, Cook Islands, and Indonesia — and several international organisations. There’s no question of taking the moral high or low ground. But I can say G7 wants to send out a message of peace to the world.”
The best way to say that you found the home of your dreams is by finding it on Hitad.lk. We have listings for apartments for sale or rent in Sri Lanka, no matter what locale you're looking for! Whether you live in Colombo, Galle, Kandy, Matara, Jaffna and more - we've got them all!