HRH Prince Mohamed holds bilateral meetings with Japan, Russia FMs
Izah Azahari

HIS ROYAL Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, held a bilateral meeting with the Mr Fumio Kishida, Japan Foreign Minister yesterday at the International Convention Centre, Berakas, where His Royal Highness and Mr Kishida exchanged remarks and vowed to continue the cooperation.

Japan held a press conference later, which was addressed by Mr Masaru Sato, the Assistant Press Secretary at the Japan Foreign Ministry and Spokersperson for the Japanese Delegation. He stated that this was the second time Japan’s Foreign Minister had visited Brunei and that during the bilateral meeting between Japan and Brunei, the Japanese foreign minister expressed his appreciation on the preparations made by Brunei.

He also congratulated HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah on YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Qawi’s wedding to YAM Tengku Amalin A’Ishah Putri.

Mr Sato explained further that as 2014 marks the country’s anniversary in the establishment of Japan and Brunei diplomatic engagement, Mr Kishida utilised the opportunity during the bilateral meeting to extend an invitation to HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah to further strengthen the relations of the two countries.

Moreover, it was stated by Mr Sato that Japan has been observing the close high level of communications and they will be expecting His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to attend the Japan-Asean 40th Anniversary Summit in December.

During the press conference, Mr Sato had also explained briefly the issues that were deliberated on by the minister during the Asean Ministerial Meetings, where the focus was on North Korea.

“He stated that North Korea should take concrete action towards comprehensive resolution of outstanding issues with regards to Japan, such as abduction issues, missile and nuclear issues. And he emphasised the importance of the international community having to implement UN Security Council Resolutions.”

With regards to the abduction issues in Japan, the minister had also stated Prime Minister Abe’s determination to completely resolve the abduction issue during his current term, where he had also requested each country’s cooperation on this matter as it is a grave issue concerning the sovereignty of Japan as well as the lives and Japanese citizens.

It also represents a universal issue for the whole international community as a violation of basic human rights, and to this many countries have responded in support of Japan.

Meanwhile, with regards to the South China Sea dispute, Mr Kishida stated that the issue is of interest and concern for the international community as a whole, and that it is connected to the peace and stability of the region. He also underlined the importance that all parties concerned should clarify their claims in accordance with international law, including the UN Convention on the Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS).

Mr Sato further explained that the minister also stressed that any party concerned should refrain from taking coercive and unilateral actions, and to respect the relevant international laws in order to establish the principle of the “rule of law” in the region, noting in particular that there continues to be tension in the South China Sea.

“The Foreign Minister stated that an effective Code of Conduct (COC) will be produced at an early juncture in the future after the start of full-scale inter-governmental negotiations, with Japan sincerely hoping for successful COC negotiations in the future,” explained Mr Sato.

Aside from holding a bilateral meeting yesterday with Japan, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah also held a bilateral meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov. - Borneo Bulletin (3 July 2013)