Arab News Japan
TOKYO: Japan renewed its call on China to implement the international ruling over the maritime dispute with the Philippines on Monday, marking the Arbitral Tribunal’s fifth anniversary.
“The Tribunal’s award is final and legally binding on the parties to the dispute under the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” Japanese Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu said in a statement.
“The parties to this case, the Philippines and China, are required to comply with the award. The claim by China that it will not accept the award is against the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes under international law, in particular UNCLOS, and undermines the rule of law as a fundamental value of the international community.”
In a more diplomatic mode, Motegi said that Japan “strongly hopes” that the parties’ compliance with the award will lead to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea.
“Japan renews its objection to maritime claims in the South China Sea that are inconsistent with UNCLOS and remains seriously concerned about the current situation,” he stated. “Furthermore, Japan reiterates its strong opposition to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion.” The statement also stressed the relevant provisions of UNCLOS to solve all maritime claims.
Motegi said Japan “highly appreciates the Philippines’ renewed commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea.” He added: “Japan will continue working in coordination with ASEAN and other countries concerned to maintain and strengthen the maritime order based on the rule of law, and to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.”