Japan builds int’l opposition to bids to violently change status quo

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Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Friday that he will work “tenaciously” to build a broader global consensus to oppose attempts to forcibly change the status quo in the wake of Russia’s war in Russia. Ukraine, warning that “brute force logic” is gaining traction. in the Indo-Pacific.

“Russia’s aggression must go down in history as a clear failure, otherwise it is inevitable that other countries will follow Russia and try to change the status quo by force,” Hayashi said at a think tank event during his first visit to the US capital. since the takeover of the portfolio of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in November.

Hayashi met with his US counterpart Antony Blinken the same day and reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability in relation to Taiwan, a self-governed island that Beijing considers a renegade province pending reunification with the mainland, using force if necessary.

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Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi speaks at an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on July 29, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs) (TBEN)


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The two also agreed to further work with allies and partners to block bids to change the status quo by force in the Indo-Pacific, Hayashi told reporters after the meeting.

Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies event, Hayashi said the world appears to be divided into two camps: the Group of Seven Nations, which includes Japan and the United States, as well as like-minded countries on the one hand, and Russia and others that take a similar stance on the other side.

But he added that there are many countries “in between”, citing the 35 countries that abstained in March on a UN General Assembly resolution that ended the Russian attack on Ukraine that began a month earlier. regretted. India, which has long had military ties with Russia, was one of the countries.

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“We must never accept unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, anywhere in the world. We must work to make the international circle of this consensus bigger and more resilient,” he said.

“Therefore, we will continue to steadfastly reach out to those central countries, while also being aware of their individual situations,” he said.

Speaking to the Indo-Pacific, he said that “brute force logic is gaining traction over the rule of law and the strategic balance in the region is becoming increasingly challenging” for Japan and the United States.

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He expressed concern at continued unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion in the East and South China seas, where Beijing has stepped up territorial claims, including over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands.

Turning to China’s nuclear build-up and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, Hayashi also called for a strengthening of the “credibility” of the US “comprehensive deterrence” commitment to Japan, including nuclear and conventional defense capabilities.

Nuclear deterrence has attracted renewed attention in the wake of the chatter of Russia’s nuclear saber during its invasion of Ukraine.

Hayashi said he agreed with Blinken during their bilateral talks to continue close communication to ensure such credibility.

Hayashi traveled to the United States for a ministerial-level economic meeting with Blinken and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Koichi Hagiuda.

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