Japanese warships on first visit to Vietnam

Two ships of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force, JS Ariake and JS Setogiri, made their first port call at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam.

The visit marked the first time since World War II that Japanese warships visited Vietnam.

Cam Ranh Bay area is close to Xisha and Nansha Islands which are claimed by China and part of the South China Sea dispute between China on one side and its neighboring countries on the other.

Asked about a comment on the arrival of Japanese warships to Vietnam, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said: “It is beyond reproach for any two countries to carry out normal cooperation. However, if such cooperation targets a third party especially China or undermines regional peace and stability, China will definitely state its position.”

The visit comes after a G7 meeting held in Hiroshima, Japan during which the leaders of seven nations adopted a declaration on maritime issues which called for restraint in the South China Sea dispute.

The Chinese government said that while it supports freedom of navigation it would also uphold its territorial sovereignty.

Commenting on the resolution, Kang said: “Given the sluggish global economic recovery at the moment, G7 should have focused on global economic governance and cooperation instead of hyping up maritime issues and fueling tensions in the region.”

“China is strongly dissatisfied with relevant moves taken by G7. We urge G7 members to abide by their promise of not taking sides on territorial disputes, respect the efforts by regional countries, stop all irresponsible words and actions, and make constructive contribution to regional peace and stability.”

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