Japan urges China anew to comply with ‘final, binding’ arbitral award

/ 11:58 PM July 08, 2024

MILITARY ACCESS President Marcos witnesses the ceremonial signing of the Reciprocal Access Agreement between Japan Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa (second from left) and Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. in Malacañang on Monday. With them are Japan Defense Minister Minoru Kihara (left) and Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Japan Defense Minister Minoru Kihara (extreme left) together with President Marcos (center) and Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo witness the ceremonial signing of the Reciprocal Access Agreement between Japan Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa (second from left) and Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. in Malacañang on Monday.  —Marianne Bermudez

MANILA, Philippines — Japan on Monday urged China anew to comply with the “final and legally binding” arbitral award in South China Sea in response to the violent June 17 incident in Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal.

Japan’s minister of defense Minoru Kihara said Tokyo is “seriously concerned” about the latest confrontation of China Coast Guard and Philippine Navy during the a mission for a naval outpost in the West Philippine Sea that resulted in the damage of latter’s vessel and serious injury to the naval crew on board.

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Kihara is in the country for the signing of the landmark Reciprocal Access Agreement between Manila and Tokyo, seen by experts as a move to address common geopolitical threats.

Kihara, in a press conference after the signing of RAA, said: “The arbitral award is final and legally binding on the parties to the dispute and Japan strongly hopes that the parties comply with the award, which will lead to a peaceful settlement of the disputes in the South China Sea.”

“Japan also highly appreciates the position of the Philippine government, which has consistently demonstrated its commitment to the peaceful resolution of the disputes in the South China Sea, in accordance with the Philippine-China arbitration ruling.”

Manila is holding the line in the West Philippine Sea as Beijing asserts sovereignty in almost the entire South China Sea, including most of the exclusive economic zone of the country’s western section, even if such a claim has been effectively invalidated by the arbitral award issued in July 2016.

The landmark ruling stemmed from a case filed by Manila in 2013, or a year after its tense standoff with Beijing over Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, whose lagoon the latter now has an effective control of.

Beijing, which asserts its claim through a “ten-dash line,” continues to reject the ruling.

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TAGS: Ayungin Shoal, Japan, West Philippine Sea

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