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2022 June 15 - 21 TOP3 [POLITICS]

editorial  Japan should give priority to peaceful solution of disputes and promote AOIP in cooperation with ASEAN nations

June 20, 2022

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

ASEAN nations, in an Asia Security Conference meeting held on June 10-12 in Singapore, called for a resolution to conflicts through tenacious diplomacy amid intensifying confrontation between the United States and China.

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto reiterated the country's stance of not playing a part in any military alliance, and said that the way Asia should choose is to resolve challenges in a diplomatic manner even when there are differences.

Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen defined the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) as a core legal instrument for East Asian peace, and said that it is necessary for regional security to embrace all countries, including China.

In sharp contrast, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio is moving toward further military expansion and the strengthening of the Japan-U.S. military alliance with confronting China in mind.

For nearly half a century, ASEAN nations have continued making efforts to establish a region of peace and cooperation based on the 1976 TAC which stipulates "settlement of disputes by peaceful means" and "abandonment of the threat or the use of force".

ASEAN proposes to reinforce the East Asia Summit (EAS) which consists of ten ASEAN nations plus eight countries, including Japan, the United States, and China, so that a treaty of amity and cooperation covering the whole of East Asia can be established in accordance with the TAC principle. This vision is called the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP). This is an initiative totally opposite to the idea to view specific countries as potential enemies that should be excluded from the treaty.

In May, leaders of Japan, the Unites States, Australia, and India held a summit meeting (QUAD summit) in Tokyo. The QUAD is more like a framework to lay siege to China, increasing the possibility of escalating the level of tensions with China.

The Japanese Communist Party's diplomatic vision is consistent with the direction of the AOIP. The war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution shares this common principle with the TAC. It is important for the Japanese government to stand firm on peaceful diplomacy by making the best use of Article 9. Japan as its security policy should attach most importance on a diplomatic settlement of issues in a peaceful manner and should seriously promote the AOIP in cooperation with ASEAN nations.
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