STOCKHOLM (Dispatches) – Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Saturday Russian and Chinese military cooperation in Asia.
Speaking at a meeting of European and Indo-Pacific foreign ministers in Sweden, Hayashi said the war in Ukraine had “shaken the very foundation of the international order” and must face a united response by the international community.
“Otherwise, similar challenges will arise in other regions and the existing order which has underpinned our peace and prosperity could be fundamentally overturned,” Hayashi said.
Japan firmly backs Ukraine in the war but China says it remains neutral while declaring a “no limits” relationship with Moscow and blaming the U.S. and NATO for provoking the conflict. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, in March at the same time as Chinese President Xi Jinping met Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
“In addition, China and Russia are strengthening their military collaboration, including joint flights of their bombers and joint naval exercises in the vicinity of Japan,” Hayahshi said.
China, which claims most of the South China Sea as well as Japanese-held islands in the East China Sea, says it has the right to defend its sovereignty and development interests.
Hayashi also claimed that North Korea was “escalating provocations” in the region by conducting ballistic missile launches “with a frequency and in a manner that are unprecedented.”
North Korea says it launches the missile in the face of the threats from the joint drills by the U.S. and South Korea.
He joined dozens of ministers from the European Union and the Indo-Pacific region for the meeting just north of the Swedish capital. China was not invited to the talks.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said the whole world was affected by the war in Ukraine, adding to global challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We all try and address it in our own different ways,” she said. “I think a lesson a country like Pakistan has learned is that percolation of conflict is never the answer; that we want an end to hostilities, an end to conflict, so people can go back to building lives rather than destroying more lives.”