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Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Tuesday voiced “grave concerns” over China’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China seas at a meeting of G7 ministers in London, the government said.

Last week, China passed legislation to enable its maritime safety agency to order foreign vessels to leave its claimed territorial waters if it judges that they could threaten security, and block overseas ships from entering such areas.

Japan has held a flurry of so-called two-plus-two security talks with eight countries recently, largely focussed on the issue of China’s maritime behavior.

Carrier strike: HMS Queen Elizabeth prepares for maiden deployment | FORCES NEWS
Carrier strike: HMS Queen Elizabeth prepares for maiden deployment | FORCES NEWS

Meeting with his U.K. counterpart Monday, Motegi welcomed Britain’s scheduled dispatch of an aircraft carrier and its strike group to the Indo-Pacific later this year.

When the HMS Queen Elizabeth makes its first port call in Japan as part of a 28-week deployment that begins this month, it will represent a sea change in thinking in London and a signal to other European nations with China on their minds, writes Jesse Johnson.

But Japan must tread with care. As its number of joint maritime military exercises in the region with friendly nations increases, so too does the potential for an accidental clash with China, Jiji reports.

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