Abe calls for G-7 unity to deal with Asia tensions

JIJI, Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his Group of Seven counterparts that the seven major industrial nations should unite to deal with increasing maritime tensions in Asia.

The Ukraine crisis requires deep discussions because it may affect other regional problems, Abe told a G-7 session on political issues Wednesday night, directing the attention of his peers to the situation in Asia where China is increasing intimidating acts.

In the East and South China Seas, tensions are rising, the Japanese leader said, stressing that it is necessary for the G-7 nations to unite and send out a message about the importance of the freedom of navigation and flights.

Some G-7 leaders lent their support, saying that the Ukraine crisis should be considered a geopolitical issue that is not limited to Europe.

“I said any attempt to change the status quo by force is intolerable in connection with both the Ukrainian and East Asian situations. This view was shared across the G-7,” Abe told reporters after the first-day session of the two-day summit.

In the session, Abe expressed support for Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko’s incoming government. Calling for stronger international cooperation to ensure Ukraine’s stability over the medium and long terms, Abe said Japan will provide economic and other assistance.

It is important to get Russia involved in important issues as a responsible member of the international community, Abe said, underscoring the importance of dialogue with Russia.

Earlier in the day, Abe and European Union leaders agreed that China’s maritime activities in disputed areas of the South China Sea should be resolved in line with international law, according to Hiroshige Seko, deputy Japanese chief Cabinet secretary, who briefed reporters.

Abe had talks with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.