Japan’s defence minister Nobuo Kishi has urged European nations to have a stronger military involvement in the Indo-Pacific to counter China’s influence in the region.
According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), Kishi, in his first speech to the European Parliament subcommittee on security and defence on Friday, called on the European Parliament subcommittee to solidify its commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and for the two sides to “continue and expand” their security cooperation.
“[Parties] such as Japan and the EU must tackle together … the fight against authoritarianism…As defence minister, I highly commend the point that the EU strategy sets out [about] the strengthening of presence and action in the Indo-Pacific,” he said in an online address.
In his speech, Kishi went on to slam Beijing for its unilateral attempts to change the status quo by coercion and efforts to militarise contested parts of the South China Sea.
He also expressed concerns over China’s “unilateral attempts to change the status quo” in the East China Sea, particularly with the adoption of a controversial coastguard law in January, reported SCMP.
“The justified rights of all relevant countries should never be undermined due to the coastguard law, and we can never tolerate anything that could heighten the tension on the waters such as the East China Sea and the South China Sea,” he said.