NEW DELHI – Japan has vowed to play a more active role in promoting international peace and stability, calling for increased cooperation with India in ensuring an order based on democratic values and the rule of law.
“Japan will continue even more actively to contribute to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region and the world under the banner of ‘Proactive Contribution to Peace,’ based on the principle of international cooperation,” Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said in New Delhi on Saturday in his first policy speech this year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II.
Citing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s remarks at a New Year’s news conference, Kishida said that based on “profound remorse” about the war, Japan has built a democratic state that has consistently upheld human rights and the rule of law over 70 years and has followed the path of a peace-loving nation.
“Universal values such as democracy, freedom, open economy and the rule of law are indispensable for the Indo-Pacific region to remain stable and prosperous, and to shine as the center of the world,” he told the Indian Council of World Affairs. “I would like to emphasize that leadership from both countries (Japan and India) is essential for the Indo-Pacific region to foster an order supported by democratic values, open economy and the rule of law.”
Referring to the recent terrorist attacks in France, Kishida called on the global community to “make all-out efforts” in the fight against terrorism. “Japan resolutely condemns any forms of terrorism, including the terrorism incident in Paris,” he said.
Citing a terrorism incident in Algeria two years ago, in which 10 Japanese were killed during an attack on an energy facility, and terrorist strikes in India in the recent past, Kishida said that “terrorism is a real danger to Japan and India. Let us firmly confront terrorism.”
In the face of China’s military buildup and assertive behavior in the East and South China seas, Kishida urged countries to respect the rule of law and not to use force or coercion in asserting their territorial claims, and called for increased cooperation with India in the field of maritime security.
“It is important to further strengthen our cooperation through defense equipment cooperation including the US-2 amphibian aircraft and Japan’s continued participation” in India-U.S. maritime exercises, he said. “We should even more proactively assume our responsibilities to protect ‘open and stable seas’ under our special partnership.”
Kishida expressed determination to work with India, Brazil and Germany to reform the U.N. Security Council, especially as this year also marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. “In order to adequately respond to the rapidly increasing and evolving challenges of the 21st century, we must expand the number of both permanent and nonpermanent members of the Security Council to reflect the realities of the current international community,” he said.