Japan's Kishi urges China not to attempt to change regional status quo

Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo met his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe and urged China to exercise restraint in its unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force in the East China Sea, including areas around the Senkaku Islands.

The two ministers spoke for about one hour on Sunday on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, an Asian security forum in Singapore.

Kishi said many bilateral issues were pending, including those related to security. Among activities of concern, he pointed out the Chinese Navy's aircraft carrier Liaoning's drills conducted in waters near Japan.

Kishi said that Japan's basic stance on Taiwan has not changed, and that the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait is extremely important not only for Japan but for the international community.

Referring to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Kishi said it undermines the foundation of international order and is absolutely unacceptable.

He called on China to play a responsible role as a permanent member of the UN Security Council for the peace and security of the international community.

Kishi also expressed deep concerns about continued joint military action between China and Russia, including last month's joint flight by Chinese and Russian bombers around Japan.

He said the pending issues make it necessary for Japan and China to have candid communication.

The two ministers agreed to promote dialogue and exchanges between both countries' defense authorities.

Japan controls the islands. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. China and Taiwan claim them.