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Thursday, February 2, 2023

China takes tough action in the Indo-Pacific region, Japan seeks more military allies

On September 11, Japan and Vietnam signed an agreement allowing Japan to export defense equipment, ships, and technology to Vietnam. The agreement aims to strengthen cooperation to resist China’s expanding military presence in the waters of Southeast Asia.

The agreement was signed in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, during the first visit of Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi after taking office. Kishi said that the agreement signed on September 11 raised the defense partnership between the two countries to a new level.

The two countries agreed to strengthen bilateral security cooperation, such as vice-ministerial defense policy dialogue; consultation meetings between armed forces; cooperation in personnel training, defense industry, and overcoming the consequences of war; and participation in UN peacekeeping activities. The two sides plan to deepen the protection relationship between the two countries through multi-country joint exercises and other means.

After the signing, the Ministry of Defense of Japan stated that the details of the transfer of specific equipment including naval vessels will be determined in follow-up talks.

On August 24, two weeks before Japan and Vietnam reached an agreement, US Vice President Kamala Harris visited Vietnam to strengthen relations with the coastal countries of the South China Sea. During the visit, Harris urged all countries to stand up against the expansion of the Chinese Communist Party in the South China Sea.

A week later, from September 3 to 4, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Vietnam. At the end of the visit, Wang Yi said that China and Vietnam should avoid any unilateral actions on the South China Sea issue that may complicate the situation and widen differences.

Both Vietnam and China have sovereignty claims in the South China Sea, especially the Nansha Islands and Paracel Islands, where there are territorial disputes between the two countries.

On September 11, just a few days after Wang Yi concluded his visit to Vietnam, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi met with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pan Van Kiang in Hanoi. Kishi and Pan agreed that maintaining the freedom of navigation and flight in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as cyber security and other defense partnerships is of great significance, and reiterated the need to comply with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Ministry of Defense of Japan stated that the CCP has taken more and more provocative actions in the disputed waters of the South China Sea and strongly condemns any activities that unilaterally coerce the status quo or increase tensions.

There are also territorial disputes between Japan and China. Japan often protests the activities of the Chinese Coast Guard near the Senkaku Islands controlled by Japan in the East China Sea. Japanese officials stated that Chinese ships have repeatedly violated the territorial waters around Japanese islands and even threatened its fishing boats.

During the Cold War, as a member of the communist camp, Vietnam relied on the Soviet Union for its weapons, including major military equipment such as fighter jets and submarines.

Japan is seeking military cooperation with more allies outside the United States. The signing of the defense equipment and technology transfer agreement made Vietnam the 11th country to sign an agreement with Japan. So far, Japan has signed similar agreements with the United Kingdom, Australia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Stephen Xia, formerly an engineer of the People’s Liberation Army, specializes in aviation equipment and engineering technology management. After retiring, he has been paying attention to the development of world military equipment.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

World Nation News Desk
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