Saturday, August 8, 2015

DFA: PHL, Japan see South China Sea issue ‘the same way’

From GMA News (Aug 7): DFA: PHL, Japan see South China Sea issue ‘the same way’

The Philippines and Japan share the same views on the developments concerning South China Sea, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday after China accused the two countries of joining forces regarding the disputed area.
In a text message to GMA News Online, DFA spokesman Charles Jose said: "Philippines and Japan see what's happening in the South China Sea the same way and openly speak about them."
A Reuters report earlier said China's Foreign Ministry issued the statement early Friday, saying Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert del Rosario "attacked" China's South China Sea policy, and received support from his Japanese counterpart.
Meanwhile, a separate Reuters report on Thursday quoted sources as saying Japan may give planes to the Philippines that could be used for patrolling over the South China Sea. 

PHL 'spoke strongly' at ASEAN meetings
Meanwhile, Jose said the Philippines has been taking a firm stand against reclamation work over the South China Sea (parts of which the Philippines refers to as West Philippine Sea) during meetings with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
"[The Philippines] spoke strongly at the ASEAN meetings versus land reclamation in South China Sea," he said.
The Philippines took part in the meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers and secretaries, where concern over China's massive reclamation work was largely discussed.
In its joint statement issued "only at the eleventh hour," ASEAN's foreign ministers were said to have taken "note of serious concerns... on the land reclamations... which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace" in the waterway.
A report on The Strait Times said this "falls short of calls by the Philippines for all claimants to adopt the US' proposal for 'three halts' -- of reclamation, construction, and militarization, of land features in the sea."

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