22:30 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan

    Japan, US Discuss Security in South China Sea – Reports

    © AFP 2019 / POOL / RITCHIE B. TONGO
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    Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed mounting tensions in the South China Sea at a meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forum in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, Japanese media said.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — The foreign ministers of the two states discussed the issue of China creating artificial territories in the South China Sea. The diplomats acknowledged that unilateral change of the status quo in the region should not be allowed, the Kyodo news agency reported.

    The South China Sea dispute centers on the Spratly Islands, a group of more than 750 islands and reefs, where China has been constructing artificial islands on coral reefs over the past few months, some with defense facilities.

    Kishida and Kerry talked about North Korean weapons of mass destruction program, Japan’s suspension of the relocation of a US military base in Okinawa Prefecture and reaffirmed the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

    On August 5-6, Malaysia is hosting a number of annual ASEAN gatherings, including the ASEAN-Russia Ministerial Meeting and a foreign ministers meeting of countries participating in the East Asia Summit.

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    Tags:
    disputed islands, talks, ASEAN, South China Sea, United States, Japan
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