Oct 13, 2012

Vietnam - Vietnam raises concerns about Japan's ongoing territorial clashes

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Vietnam has signaled deep concerns about rising territorial disputes in Asia which clearly could spark off a catastrophic war in Asia. Such a war would be highly costly to American interests too, due to the large American presence in Asia.

The Japan Times has reported on October 7, 2012: "Vietnam voices concern over Japan's Senkaku, Takeshima disputes with China and S. Korea at ASEAN maritime forum." At a recent meeting of the ASEAN Maritime Forum in Manila, Vietnam has expressed its concern over Japan's ongoing territorial clashes with China and South Korea.

Vietnam, which is also involved in several sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea, has described Japan's recent territorial disputes with China and South Korea as "complicated developments." A Vietnamese delegate has said that these concerns include the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which have been claimed by China and Taiwan, and the South Korea-administered Takeshima Islands in the Sea of Japan, which Japan insists are an inherent part of its territory.

Vietnam stated at the forum, "We share the common belief that the parties concerned must, now more than ever, act with restraint and settle their disputes by peaceful means and fully respect international law, especially the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. The same goes for the South China Sea." Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, China and Taiwan all have conflicting claims to various islands, reefs and outcroppings which are in the South China Sea. The Philippines and Vietnam have aggressively asserted their territorial claims in the area too, particularly against China.

Vietnam has said, "We must work together so as not to allow disputes and differences to escalate into conflicts, but to ensure their peaceful settlement and to uphold respect for international law and the 1982 U.N. convention, including its provisions related to exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf of coastal states." The concerns of Vietnam about the volatile situation in this region of the world should be respected.

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