Philippines thanks Japan for backing its arbitration case against China

MANILA, June 23 (PNA) — The Philippines has expressed its gratitude to Japan for supporting the case it has filed at the international arbitral tribunal to peacefully resolve its maritime dispute with China.

“We are grateful to Japan for supporting the fundamental principle by which the Philippines is addressing the West Philippine Sea issue,” Charge d’ Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo Gilberto G.B. Asuque told Radio TV Malacanang in an interview last week.

Asuque, head of the Philippine technical working group on the maritime boundary delimitation and member of the West Philippine Task Force, said the Philippines and Japan share the same view of peacefully resolving the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) as well as the East China Sea issues.

The United Nations, he said, mandates claimant countries to use peaceful means to settle territorial disputes and states that the use of force and intimidation are not accepted by the international community.

“Sana po sa pagtulong ng Japan ay maengganyo po natin ang ibang bansa na tayo pong Pilipinas, kasama ang Japan, ay ayaw natin ng di maayos na pagresolba ng usapin ng Pilipinas at Tsina. Ganon din ang Japan at Tsina,” he said.

The Philippines, Japan and China are signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and have obligations to follow the policy mandated by the international law, he said

“Kaya mahalaga po ang relasyon ng Pilipinas at Japan tungkol sa ginagawa nating paraan para mabigyan natin ng matagalang solusyon ang issue with China.”

During his one-day working visit to Japan on Tuesday (June 24), President Benigno S. Aquino III will have a luncheon meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss the two countries’ respective maritime disputes with China, as well as how to enhance their bilateral relations.

President Aquino will also deliver the keynote address at the Consolidation for Peace for Mindanao Conference in Hiroshima. (PNA)