Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Japan not happy with Cambodia minister's words

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Japan has told Cambodia, which holds the rotating ASEAN chairmanship this year, that it is dissatisfied with the chairman's statements after two meetings of the bloc's foreign ministers in July, according to diplomatic sources.

Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba, in a letter to his Cambodian counterpart, Hor Namhong, dated July 24, voiced regret that the issue of the abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea was not included in the statement, which was issued after the foreign ministers' meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Phnom Penh on July 12, the sources said.

Genba also took issue with Hor Namhong over the chairman's statement issued following the foreign ministers' meeting of East Asia Summit member countries, held in the Cambodian capital on the same day, saying that territorial disputes in the South China Sea with China and its neighbors were not properly conveyed.

The sources said Hor Namhong responded to Genba's letter, noting that such statements are not meant to be a verbatim record but rather a summary of the overall views of a meeting.

"No country, except, Japan . . . had voiced disagreement with the chairman's statements," Hor Namhong was quoted as saying in his letter to Genba on July 27.

With Russia, South Korea and China having gone on the diplomatic offensive over territorial disputes with Japan, the tone of Hor Namhong's letter to Genba suggests a decline in Southeast Asia of Japan's diplomatic clout.-The Japan Times (September 05, 2012)

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