Manila, Oct. 7: Vietnam has expressed its concern over Japan’s ongoing territorial spat with China and South Korea at a meeting of the ASEAN Maritime Forum in Manila.
In a statement at the forum’s opening session, Vietnam, which is involved in several sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea, described Japan’s recent territorial flare ups with China and South Korea as ‘complicated developments’.
While the statement only mentioned “southeast and northeast parts of the region,” a Vietnamese delegate confirmed later that these include the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which are claimed by China and Taiwan, and the South Korea-administered Takeshima Islands in the Sea of Japan, which Japan argues are an inherent part of its territory.
“We share the common belief that the parties concerned must, now more than ever, act with restraint and settle their disputes by peaceful means and fully respect international law, especially the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea,” Japan Times quoted Vietnam, as saying in the forum.
“The same goes for the South China Sea,” Vietnam added.
According to the report, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, China and Taiwan all have overlapping claims to various islands, reefs and outcroppings in the South China Sea.
Over the last few years, both the Philippines and Vietnam have aggressively asserted their territorial claims in the area, particularly against China.
“We must work together so as not to allow disputes and differences to escalate into conflicts, but to ensure their peaceful settlement and to uphold respect for international law and the 1982 U.N. convention, including its provisions related to exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf of coastal states,” Vietnam said. (ANI)