JCP Shii on South China Sea issues: Parties concerned should refrain from actions leading to increased tension
April 12, 2016
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in a report which he gave on April 10 on behalf of the Executive Committee in the 5th Central Committee Plenum proposed ways to help resolve territorial issues in the South China Sea in regard to international issues that require Japan to engage in peaceful diplomacy based on Article 9 of the Constitution,
The JCP chair recalled that in 2014, on the occasion of China’s introduction of an oil rig in waters near the Paracel Islands and the diplomatic tensions that followed, the JCP issued a statement which called for parties concerned to work for a peaceful solution through diplomatic consultations and refrain from taking forceful actions or military measures to change the status quo.
Shii noted that China’s actions, including the creation of artificial islands and the installation of radar equipment on them near the Spratly Islands and the deployment of missiles and fighter jets on the Paracel Islands, go against the commitment demonstrated by signatories in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) which stipulates that the Parties “undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability”. Shii demanded that China stop unilateral actions to change the status quo and other actions that would heighten military tensions in the South China Sea.
Shii went on to argue that the way to resolve the issues in the South China Sea is to devote energies entirely to diplomatic negotiations, citing the fact that ASEAN nations have not only strictly abided by the DOC, but also been tenaciously working to upgrade the DOC to a Code of Conduct. He stressed that the Japanese government should make diplomatic efforts to help settle the issues through dialogue.
Regarding Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s remarks that he will consider strengthening the Japan-U.S. cooperation on the South China Sea issues and dispatching the Japanese Self-Defense Forces following the enactment of the war legislation, Shii said, “We have to strongly warn that the implementation of the war laws in the area in question will not only be ineffective in contributing to the settlement of the issues, but will lead to an increase in military tensions.”