Illustrative photo. (Source: AFP/VNA)

Sydney (VNA) - Australia and Japan expressed their concerns over the increasing tensions in the East Sea and reiterated strong opposition to any coercive actions that would change the status quo in the waters during the sixth Japan-Australia 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations held in Sydney, Australia on November 22.

Attending the consultations were Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, Australian Minister for Defence Marise Payne, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida and Japanese Minister for Defence Gen Nakatani.

At the event, the Japanese defence leader highlighted that nations in the region need to raise their voices against China’s land reclamation and construction in the East Sea.

The Ministers urged the claimants to take steps to ease tensions and refrain from provocative actions that could escalate the situation. They called on claimants to clarify and pursue territorial claims and maritime rights in accordance with international laws. In this regard, they supported the right of claimants to seek to resolve disputes peacefully, including through arbitration, according to a joint statement released after the event.

During the consultations, the Ministers finalised a joint strategy for infrastructure construction in the Pacific amid China’s increasing influence in the region.

They also condemned the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13 and recognised the importance of international counter-terrorism efforts.

The two sides exchanged their evaluations on the strategic environment in the region and sought solutions to promote collaboration. They also pledged to support regional peace and security.-VNA