Friday, April 18, 2014

Japan, Mongolia oppose attempt to change status quo by force

Japanese and Mongolian defense ministers agreed Thursday to oppose any attempt to change the status quo by force, in light of China's claim to the Japan-administered islands and Russia's annexation of Crimea, southern Ukraine, Japan's Defense Ministry said.

Meeting in Tokyo, Itsunori Onodera said Japan is calling for diplomatic solutions to those issues, while his Mongolian counterpart Bat-Erdene Dashdemberel said changing the status quo by force is unacceptable in any situation.

China has repeatedly sent ships into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea to assert its claim to the islands it calls the Diaoyu.

As for North Korea, Onodera expressed hope that Mongolia will play a role in Japan's bid to resolve bilateral issues with the reclusive country as Ulan Bator has diplomatic ties with Pyongyang, the ministry said.

"Japan will be able to establish friendly relations (with North Korea) if we can solve the nuclear, missile and abduction issues in a comprehensive manner," Onodera was quoted as saying. Japan has no diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Bat-Erdene replied that Mongolia will continue to send senior officials to North Korea.

==Kyodo

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