Suga speech stresses universal values

NHK -- Apr 17
Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has addressed Indo-Pacific security in remarks to a US think tank. Suga referred to China's increased assertiveness in the region and said Japan will not concede on universal values such as democracy and human rights.

Suga spoke online at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The speech followed his in-person summit on Friday with US President Joe Biden.

Suga said the regional security environment has become more severe as China continues its attempt to alter the status quo in the region, including the East China Sea.

He suggested China's rise has led to a changing power balance in the Indo Pacific, and also attributed the increased uncertainty to a prevailing unilateralism in responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

Suga noted China is rapidly increasing its political, economic and military influence. He stressed Japan has no intention to concede in matters related to sovereignty, or fundamental values such as democracy, human rights and rule of law.

He said Japan's basic policy on pending issues caused by China is to firmly assert what needs to be stated and strongly request China take specific actions.

Suga also said Japan must work to establish a stable and constructive relationship with China while maintaining a close relationship with the United States and other like-minded nations.