• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed Japan’s commitment with the British and European Union leaders to prevent terrorist attacks.

Abe discussed the issue Sunday with British Prime Minister David Cameron and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the sidelines of the summit of the Group of 20 major economies following the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday evening.

Abe and Cameron agreed on the importance of the principle that any attempt to change the status quo by force is unacceptable and that the rule of law should prevail in connection with China’s activities in the South China Sea, according to Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko.

Cameron told Abe he sees the need to include China in a transparent rule-making system and to forge a deeper economic partnership so London can have closer dialogue with Beijing over issues such as the South China Sea and human rights violations, Seko said.

Abe and Cameron agreed to boost defense cooperation so Japan and Britain can hold a second round of “two-plus-two security talks” between their foreign and defense ministers. The first took place in January in London.

China has created islands atop reefs to assert its claim of sovereignty over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, ignoring objections by other claimants.

Japan, the United States and Southeast Asian countries have criticized the behavior.

Abe told Juncker that “the terrorist act in Paris was a challenge to the values we share and try to protect” and Japan is ready to work together with the European Union to deal with the problem.

Juncker responded that democracy must be sustained despite the attacks, Seko said.

Abe and Juncker agreed to step up bilateral efforts to sign a free trade agreement soon. Japan and the EU agreed in May to try to sign the deal by the end of this year, but it appears unlikely they will deliver on that pledge.

On Japan’s calls to lift import restrictions on some Japanese food products, Juncker was sure that the EU can ease or lift them through a vote later this month, according to Seko.

The EU joined other economies to limit imports of some Japanese food products following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.

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