PH Ally Japan to China: ‘Follow Arbitration Ruling’ on West Philippine Sea

Japan expressed its support for the Philippines and “strongly expects” China to follow the International Court’s decision in Hague and withdraw from the disputed islands after the tribunal unanimously rejected China’s claims in the West Philippine Sea. 

Japan also acknowledged the tribunal’s decision as “final and legally binding” and is looking forward to a “peaceful settlement” between the two countries.

In a statement on Tuesday, Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said, "Japan has consistently advocated the importance of the rule of law and the use of peaceful means, not the use of force or coercion, in seeking settlement of maritime disputes.”

The International Court rejected China’s claims over the islands in West Philippine Sea. It stated that China “had no legal to claim historic rights.” It also uncovered how Chinese sea patrol may “risk colliding” with fishermen and cause “irreparable damage” to coral reefs within the Philippine waters.

Japan had also been involved in maritime disputes with China over Senkaku, a group of islands southwest of Okinawa, Japan

The two countries, Philippines and Japan, have been strengthening their economic and defense and security ties.

Earlier this year, Japan had leased training aircraft to the Philippines and sent a Japanese warship to Philippine ports in the disputed islands.

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