Japan, Paraguay: Unilateral change of status quo by force won't be tolerated

Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Paraguay's President Santiago Pena have confirmed that attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force will not be tolerated.

Kishida and Pena met in Paraguay's capital Asuncion on Friday. The Japanese prime minister is visiting South America for the first time since he took office in 2021.

The meeting comes amid China's increasing assertiveness. Paraguay is the only South American country that has diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

The two leaders agreed to work together on disarmament and reform of the United Nations Security Council.

They confirmed that their nations will launch a space development cooperation program that brings together industry, government and academia.

They agreed that a pact to promote trade and investment needs be concluded at an early date.

Kishida and Pena also agreed that Japan and the South American economic bloc Mercosur will examine how to strengthen their economic relations. The members of Mercosur include Paraguay and Brazil.

Kishida told a joint news conference that as the international community faces complex crises, Japan hopes to strengthen cooperation with Paraguay while sharing values such as freedom and democracy.