US, Japan oppose militarization, destabilizing activities in East Sea, East China Sea

(VOVWORLD) - The US and Japan have agreed on the need for a closer network of alliances and partners to ensure security against all manner of threats, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the two-plus-two security meeting between the US and Japan on Friday. 

The meeting, also attended by US acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, and Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya, discussed the two countries’ diplomatic efforts to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea. Efforts to enhance the US-Japan security alliance, maintain the free and open Indo-Pacific strategy, and the realignment of US forces in Japan were also on the agenda.

Pompeo said the talks affirmed that the US-Japan alliance remains ironclad and increasingly complex. They have pursued ways to defend the freedoms of the American and Japanese people, and promote our shared value sets, he said, adding that the United States and Japan will continue to advance trilateral and multilateral cooperation with other regional partners, notably the Republic of Korea, Australia, India, and Southeast Asian countries. 

“We also oppose militarization and other destabilizing activities in the South China Sea and in the East China Sea," he said, "We urge all parties to fully respect legal and diplomatic processes, and pursue the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes without resorting to the threat of or use of force. All parties must abide by the Law of the Sea Convention,” said Pompeo.

Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan said the meeting is yet another testament to both countries’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.