Japanese Defence Minister Tomomi Inada (Source: wsj.com)
Washington (VNA) – Japan will increase its engagement in the East Sea as part of efforts to maintain a rules-based maritime order in the sea, stated Japanese Defence Minister Tomomi Inada.

In a speech at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington on September 15, Inada said Japan’s involvement will help build the capacity of coastal states in the region.

Japan will join training patrols with the US as well as bilateral and multilateral military exercises with regional countries’ navies.

The minister also criticised Beijing’s construction and militarisation of islands in the East Sea, and its rejection of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)’s recent ruling on the East Sea issue, which invalidated China’s sovereignty claims in the sea.

“These Chinese actions constitute a deliberate attempt to unilaterally change the status quo and undermine the prevailing norms,” she said.

Inada also referred to repeated intrusions by Chinese law enforcement ships into Japanese waters around the disputed islands in the East China Sea, which is known as the Diaoyu Islands in China and the Senkaku Islands in Japan.

Previously, at the 5th round of the high-level Consultation on Maritime Affairs in Hiroshima, Japan on September 14-15, Japan and China agreed to speed up the negotiation process on the air and maritime contact mechanism between their defence ministries.

The two sides also committed to contributing to maintaining peace and stability in the East China Sea.-VNA