Japanese Prime Minister hopes to hold talks with China and South Korea; Foreign Minister Kishida visits Jordan, extends support towards Syrian refugees; Japan to provide the Philippines with ten patrol ships
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  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on July 26, expressed hope to hold bilateral talks with China and South Korea. As Tokyo’s relationship with the two neighbouring states has recently turned sour over territorial disputes, Abe argues that talks could revive Japan’s ties with them. In the meantime, while emphasizing on the 40-year long Japan-ASEAN relationship, he expressed satisfaction that both sides have moved beyond their economic relations to forge a relationship that takes on responsibility for regional security, including freedom of navigation. 1

    According to reports, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida recently visited the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and extended Tokyo’s support to Jordan as well as the other countries supporting those refugees. He also assured Japan’s assistance in areas like water supply and sanitation management. It is worth noting that during the G-8 Summit held in June this year, Japan pledged to offer $120 million to Jordan in the form of low-interest yen loans. 2

    In other developments, Japanese Prime Minister Abe, during his talks with the Philippines counterpart President Benigo Aquino on July 27 in Manila, offered to provide the Southeast Asian state with ten patrol ships. These ships are to boost the coast guard capabilities of the Philippines. While extending Japan’s economic as well as maritime support to the Philippines, Abe also expressed support towards the latter’s decision to apply for mediation by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea over a territorial dispute with China. 3