Japan urges China to reach “transparent” code of conduct with ASEAN
Japan has urged China to reach a "transparent" code of conduct with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the disputed South China Sea.
In a press briefing, Japan Deputy Press Secretary Toshihide Ando said the South China Sea was one of the issues that Foreign Minister Taro Kono discussed with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during their bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and Related Meetings in Manila.
"Minister Kono said it is important that the freedom of navigation and overflight for all countries should be maintained. He hopes an effective COC will be reached in a transparent way," he said.
ASEAN and China adopted during their meeting here the framework of COC in South China Sea.
Wang, in a press conference earlier, said discussion on COC in the South China Sea will officially start in November provided that the situation is generally stable and there is no major disruption from outside parties.
Some ASEAN countries engaged in territorial disputes in the South China Sea are the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Japan has its own sea row with China in the East China Sea.
Ando said Kono and Wang agreed for the early start of operation of maritime and aerial communication mechanism of defense authorities.
On the North Korean issue, he said the two diplomats had frank exchange of views on the matter and agreed to cooperate between themselves. Celerina Monte/DMS