Japanese and Vietnamese leaders refuse to use force in Ukraine


Hanoi, Vietnam (AP) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Sunday that he had talked with Vietnamese leaders about the war in Ukraine and agreed to respect international law and refuse to use force.

Japan condemned Russia’s invasion and joined the Western nations to impose sanctions on Moscow. Vietnam, like most other Southeast Asian countries, has sought restraint, respect for the Charter of the United Nations, and dialogue to avoid direct criticism of Russia and seek peaceful resolution of conflicts.

Vietnam abstained from voting at the UN General Assembly in March, lamenting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Vietnam is one of Moscow’s historic allies, and Vietnamese troops have mainly equipped Russian weapons. It also has strong ties to Ukraine, where about 10,000 Vietnamese live, work and study. In recent years, Vietnam has built a close relationship with the United States by opposed China’s vast territorial claims in the South China Sea.

After meeting with Vietnam’s Pham Minh Chin, Fumio Kishida said, “No region of the world can accept actions that force a change in the status quo.”

Fumio Kishida also criticized China’s actions in the South China Sea. There, Beijing built artificial islands and turned them into military outposts, strengthening territorial claims rejected by small neighbors.