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Japan, Vietnam Oppose Bids to Change Status Quo in Regional Waters ‘By Coercion’

The defense ministers of Japan and Vietnam agreed to oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo “by coercion” in regional waters, seemingly referring to China’s assertive activities in the East and South China Seas. Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and his Vietnamese counterpart Phan Van Giang discussed regional security in the regional waters in a Nov. 23 meeting, confirming the countries’ cooperation in maintaining the existing international order. The meeting took place in Tokyo, a day after Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his entourage arrived for a four-day visit at the invitation of Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Both ministers reconfirmed the importance of countries complying with international law, while respecting freedom of navigation and overflight, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry. The countries signed two agreements on cybersecurity and military medicine, in which Japan will strengthen its support for Vietnam in dealing with cyberattacks and medical-related …

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