Japan supports Philippines position of settling territorial dispute on West Philippine Sea through diplomatic, peaceful means
VIENTIANE, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nov 6 (Mabuhay) -– The Philippines can now count on Japan as an ally in its stand that the best and only way to settle the territorial dispute on the West Philippine Sea is through diplomatic and peaceful means following international law.
Japan now joins Norway, Switzerland, the European Council and the European Commission in supporting the Philippines on its stand concerning this highly contested “body of water.”
In a meeting with the media delegation who covered his attendance to the 9thAsia-Europe Meeting being held here from November 5 to 6 late Monday night, President Benigno S. Aquino III said Japan threw its support on the Philippines’ position during a bilateral meeting between the two countries at the sidelines of the Summit.
“Pareho namang nagkaroon ng reaffirmation na gusto natin ng peaceful solution. For both ends, talaga namang sinusubukan nating i-deescalate ang situation,” the President said.
He added that he would bring up the issue of the West Philippine Sea when member countries of ASEM9 convene for the second session of the plenary meeting on Tuesday.
Earlier, Presidential Communication and Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma, Jr. said that during bilateral meetings with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, Swiss Confederation President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, European Council Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Varroso, the four leaders were for the Philippines’ position to resolve disputes in the area peacefully and following international law.
“In particular, Switzerland and the EU and in part Norway indicated their firm support to our position that conflicts or disputes in that area are to be resolved peacefully and following international laws and in particular there is firm support for an ASEAN-centric approach which has always been the position of President Aquino considering four out of the 10 member states of ASEAN have specific stakes in the West Philippine Sea,” he stressed.
“Therefore the only logical approach to any conflict resolution will have to be multilateral and involving all stakeholders therein,” Coloma said. (MNS)