• Kyodo

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Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations Koro Bessho on Friday voiced deep concern about territorial spats between China and other countries and said the U.N. Security Council will take up the issue if requested.

“Japan is deeply concerned about the situation” associated with the vast sea areas, he said at a news conference convened on the day Japan assumed the presidency of the 15-member council for July.

Bessho said the Security Council will put the issue on its agenda if there is a request from its members or other U.N. members.

A U.N.-backed arbitral tribunal will rule July 12 on the legitimacy of Beijing’s claims to almost the whole of the South China Sea in a case brought by the Philippines.

Many experts believe the ruling will be unfavorable to China, which is also locked in territorial rows with three other ASEAN members — Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam — as well as Taiwan.

China’s massive land reclamation work on islands in the contested waters and its building of military facilities on them have raised widespread concerns. The United States and its allies in the region, including Australia and Japan, plus some European countries regard China’s actions in the South China Sea as going against rule-based order.

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