Japan and New Zealand support defense cooperation in an “unprecedented challenge”

New Zealand and Japan agreed on Thursday to step up defense cooperation and begin formal negotiations for an information-sharing agreement as the world faces “unprecedented challenges” from the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for the first time on Thursday since last year’s elections.

so Joint statement Announced after the meeting, the two leaders said they had agreed to strengthen cooperation in areas such as political ties, defense, security, trade and economic growth.

They also agreed to initiate negotiations on an information sharing agreement to enable closer involvement in international security issues.

Ardern describes Japan as one of New Zealand’s “most important partners in the Indo-Pacific region” and shares common values ​​and approaches to the challenges facing the region.

“Japan and New Zealand will work together to support economic recovery from COVID-19, combat climate change, promote peace and stability in our region, and maintain global rule-based order.” She said. statement.

Fumio Kishida and Ardern strongly condemned Russia’s illegal aggression against Ukraine, saying that it had an impact far beyond Europe and the Indo-Pacific region and formed a “serious threat” to the rule-based international order. rice field.

They demanded the immediate withdrawal of Moscow troops in Ukraine and vowed to continue to enforce economic sanctions on Russia.

Their talks also covered the East China Sea and South China Sea, where Beijing increased its military presence. The two leaders said they strongly opposed unilateral actions aimed at changing the status quo and increasing tensions in conflict areas.

The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of resolving maritime disputes in accordance with international law and urged stakeholders to comply with the final and legally binding arbitral award of July 2016 in the South China Sea. rice field.

Fumio Kishida said Japan and New Zealand “do not tolerate attempts to force a change in the status quo and oppose it in the South China Sea and elsewhere.”Japanese media Kyodo News report.

Japan and New Zealand also promised to work together to support the security and resilience of the Pacific island nations and blamed North Korea for its continued development of nuclear weapons.

Following Solomon Islands and China, the meeting formally signed a security treaty that would allow Beijing to station armed police and troops in the Pacific Islands.

On April 18, the United States convened meetings with officials from Japan, Australia and New Zealand, during which they expressed concern about the agreement between Solomon and China. The White House said Washington was concerned about the lack of transparency in the agreement and its “unspecified nature.”

Aldograph Redley


Aldgra Fredly is a Malaysia-based freelance writer featuring the Epoch Times Asia Pacific News.