Japan, Ireland leaders agree to strengthen cooperation in Indo-Pacific

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, shakes hands with Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his Irish counterpart Micheal Martin have agreed that their countries will strengthen cooperation to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.

In a joint statement issued after their talks Wednesday at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo, the two leaders said they are “seriously concerned” about the situation in the East China Sea and South China Sea, an apparent reference to China’s maritime expansion.

They expressed “strong opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force and increase tensions,” and stressed “the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

Kishida and Martin also condemned Russia, which has attacked hospitals, schools and other civilian targets in Ukraine. They resolved to “impose severe consequences on Russia” by fully implementing economic and financial sanctions.