BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network): Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Halbi Mohd Yussof and Japanese Minister of Defence Nobuo Kishi on Tuesday (Dec 28) exchanged views on bilateral defence cooperation and exchanges.
Both ministers welcome the agreement in principle on the Memorandum of Cooperation between the two countries’ Defence Ministries on Defence Cooperation and Exchanges.
The ministers discussed this during a video teleconference on Tuesday.
They shared that Japan and Brunei Darussalam will continue coordination to sign the memorandum at the earliest opportunity.
The ministers also stressed that Japan and Brunei Darussalam will further promote bilateral defence cooperation and exchanges through programmes such as exchanges in various levels, port visits and bilateral exercises.
They also exchanged views on multilateral cooperation where Japanese Minister Nobuo Kishi announced Japan’s entry to Asean Direct Communications Infrastructure (ADI) which is Brunei Darussalam’s initiative under the ADMM framework.
The Japanese minister expressed his intention to make the best use of ADI to develop closer communication with Asean defence ministers and contribute to the region’s peace and stability.
Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi welcomed the Japanese Minister’s remarks.
The Japanese Minister expressed appreciation for Brunei Darussalam’s leadership as Asean chairman this year.
They said they will maintain close cooperation toward the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) scheduled to be held in November 2022.
The two ministers also exchanged views on regional security issues. The Japanese minister reiterated the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight, and reaffirmed the critical need for observing international law based primarily on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) and his intent to reinforce within the international community their opposition to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by coercion.
The Japanese minister condemned the launch of ballistic missiles by North Korea, which violates United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
He said North Korea’s repeated launches of ballistic missiles pose a serious challenge to the international community as a whole.
Concerning the situation in Myanmar, the Japanese minister stressed on the importance of progressing the ‘Five-Point Consensus’ into concrete results and shared his intention to fully support Asean's initiatives.