Aquino, Abe update each other on sea rows with China

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe updated each other on Tuesday on the developments on the situation in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and East China Sea.

Aquino told reporters who accompanied him to Japan that they both agreed that all claimant-countries on the disputed areas should adhere to international laws.

Both the Philippines and Japan are engaged on territorial disputes with China on West Philippine Sea and East China Sea, respectively.

"Well, ina-update nila tayo doon sa mga incidents involving planes. We updated them naman, for instance, with regards to the Ayungin Shoal, ‘yung ating replenishment efforts. We showed them the pictures of Mabini Reef. And—tapos ‘yung mga nao-observe in sa Cuarteron...the five other features in the South China Sea. So parang may commonality," Aquino said.

"We both agree that there…actually even China, ‘di ba, also publicly states that we should all adhere to international law," he said.

The President also reiterated the need for the full implementation and compliance of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China to finish the Code of Conduct.

Meanwhile, Aquino, in a statement he delivered after meeting with Abe, thanked Japan for relaxing visa restrictions for Filipino tourists.

"I thanked him for making it possible for even more Filipino tourists to visit this country, with the further relaxation of visa regulations," he said.

For his part, Abe expressed hope that more Filipinos will visit Japan.

"I also informed the President about the relaxation of visa requirements for the Philippines toward the promotion of human exchange. It is hoped that many tourists from the Philippines would visit Japan," he said.

Both leaders did not elaborate on the relaxation of Japan visa restrictions for Filipinos. (SDR/Sunnex)

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