India briefs Japan about border standoff situation in eastern Ladakh
New Delhi, Mar 19: The China issue figured in the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida here on Saturday.
Address a press briefing, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said "Both the PMs discussed China; we informed Japan of the situation in Ladakh, the attempts of amassing the troops, & our talks with China on border-related issues... Japanese PM also briefed us on his own perspective vis-a-vis East & South China sea."
"We made it clear that unless we have a resolution of the border issues with peace & tranquility, we could not consider the relationship (with China) to be business as usual; normalcy would depend on the progress in issues we're discussing," he added.
A joint statement said the two prime ministers emphasised that India and Japan, as two leading powers in the Indo-Pacific region, had a shared interest in the safety and security of the maritime domain, freedom of navigation and overflight and peaceful resolution of disputes.
"They reaffirmed their determination to continue prioritising the role of international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and facilitate collaboration, including in maritime security, to meet challenges against the rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas," it said.
Japan has maritime disputes with China in the East China Sea while India has been concerned over Beijing's increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea region.
The statement said Modi and Kishida emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint. "They further called for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the early conclusion of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, especially UNCLOS, without prejudice to the rights and interests of all nations including those not party to these negotiations," it said.
India and China could not make any significant headway in resolving the outstanding issues on the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh at the 15th round of military talks but agreed to maintain the dialogue to reach a mutually acceptable resolution at the earliest.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.
Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.
Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC.