Japan, Ecuador FMs agree to cooperate as non-permanent UNSC members

The foreign ministers of Japan and Ecuador have agreed to closely cooperate to seek reforms of the UN Security Council, as part of efforts to strengthen the functions of the world body.

Japan's Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa met his Ecuadorian counterpart Juan Carlos Holguin in Quito on Friday. Hayashi is on a four-nation Latin American tour.

The foreign ministers also agreed to cooperate in dealing with the situation in Ukraine -- a topic that has fueled divisions within the Security Council.

Japan and Ecuador both became non-permanent members of the UN Security Council this year.

Holguin sought Japan's assistance to strengthen maritime patrols, as Ecuador faces illegal fishing by Chinese boats near the Galapagos Islands. Hayashi responded that Japan will consider the request.

At a joint news conference, Hayashi called Ecuador "an important partner with which Japan shares fundamental values." He also said Japan will continue to cooperate to ensure Ecuador's sustainable development.