Japan airs ‘serious concerns’ over China’s laser use in Ayungin

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

February 15, 2023, 8:42 am

<p><strong>SUMMONED.</strong> President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. summons Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian to Malacañang on Tuesday (Feb 14, 2023) over a laser-pointing incident by the Chinese Coast Guard at the Ayungin Shoal on Feb. 6, 2023. The Department of Foreign Affairs said the “acts of aggression” are both “disturbing and disappointing.” <em>(Photo courtesy of the Presidential Communications Office)</em></p>

SUMMONED. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. summons Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian to Malacañang on Tuesday (Feb 14, 2023) over a laser-pointing incident by the Chinese Coast Guard at the Ayungin Shoal on Feb. 6, 2023. The Department of Foreign Affairs said the “acts of aggression” are both “disturbing and disappointing.” (Photo courtesy of the Presidential Communications Office)

MANILA – The Japanese Embassy in Manila on Tuesday expressed “serious concerns” over the latest developments in the South China Sea, the recent of which involved a Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessel harassing a Filipino ship by pointing a military-grade laser at it near Ayungin Shoal.

In a tweet accompanied by the link to the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) statement condemning the CCG move, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa called on all states to respect the international law of the sea.

“We express serious concerns about dangerous behavior against (Philippines) vessels,” he said. “All states should respect maritime order based on international law, in particular UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), and recall that 2016 Arbitral Award is final and legally binding. We firmly oppose any action that increase tensions.”

Last week, Marcos and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also expressed concerns about the situation in the East and South China Sea and reaffirmed the need to “reinforce maritime domain awareness and maritime law enforcement” in the region.

In a Feb. 9 joint statement after their summit meeting, both leaders “strongly opposed the actions including force or coercion that may increase tensions.”

READ: DFA, US, Australia protest ‘provocative’ China laser-pointing

The latest incident prompted the DFA to file a diplomatic protest against China on Feb. 14, with the United States and Australia joining in to express concern.

On the same day, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. summoned Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian.

China continues to lay claim on the Ayungin Shoal, also called the Second Thomas Shoal, which is located 105 nautical miles off Palawan.

In 2016, Manila’s rights over the Ayungin were affirmed by no less than the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration, which declared the feature as “within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of the Philippines.”

Under the UNCLOS, a coastal state has the “sovereign rights” to explore and exploit, as well as conserve and manage both living and non-living resources within its 200-nautical mile EEZ. (PNA)

 

 

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