India, Japan call for utmost respect to UN convention on seas

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) India and Japan on Thursday urged all parties “to show utmost respect for the Unclos” in the wake of an international tribunal ruling against China’s claims to rights in the South China Sea and laid emphasis on freedom of navigation and overflights in international waters.

They also reaffirmed the need for stronger international partnership in combating terrorism.

Japanese Defence Minister Gen Nakatani met his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar here and a joint statement outlined the growth in their bilateral military ties.

The statement said that the ministers recognised that the security and stability of the seas connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans was indispensable for the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.

” The ministers expressed concern over recent developments in this regard. They reaffirmed the importance of respecting international law, as reflected notably in the Unclos (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) of the peaceful settlement of the disputes without any threat or use of force, and of ensuring freedom and safety of navigation and over-flight as well as unimpeded lawful commerce in international waters,” the statement said.

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“In this context, they noted the Award of the Arbitral Tribunal on the South China Sea under the Unclos on 12 July 2016, and urged all parties to show utmost respect for the UNCLOS,” it added.

The international arbitration tribunal on Tuesday ruled against China’s claims to rights in the South China Sea, backing a case brought in by the Philippines. Beijing has, however, trashed the ruling as “null and void”.

The two ministers also expressed deep condolences to both Japanese and Indian victims of the terrorist attack perpetrated at Dhaka in Bangladesh.

“The ministers resolutely condemned this brutal act of terrorism and reaffirmed that all forms and manifestations of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable under all circumstances, and noted that terrorism poses one of the most serious threats to the peace and security of the international community,” the statement said.

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Both the leaders exchanged ideas in a constructive, productive and positive atmosphere under the framework of the “Japan-India Special Strategic and Global Partnership”.

Both countries also expressed their concern over North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

They urged North Korea to take concrete actions towards denuclearization and other goals as well as to fully comply with its international obligations, including under all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, the release said.

Gen Nakatani expressed his appreciation to the efforts made by Indian Defence Ministry as a chair of Humanitarian Mine Action Expert Working Group (EWG) and Parrikar expressed his appreciation to the efforts made by Japan Defence Ministry as a chair of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

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The two countries also agreed to explore setting up of a Maritime Strategic Dialogue between the two defence ministries.



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