TOKYO — The Philippines’ newly found affection for China has sparked concern in Japan that it would embolden the Asian giant to expand more aggressively in the South China Sea.
Japan has worked with the U.S. and others to pressure China to accept an international arbitration ruling in July that rejected Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea. The ruling involved a case brought by the Philippines, but Manila has downplayed the decision in its favor.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has insisted that the South China Sea is a vital route for Japan, and he has stressed at international meetings the importance of the rule of law for handling tensions in that area. Tokyo also worries that allowing China to militarize the South China Sea would impact Japan’s own dispute with the country in the East China Sea over the Senkaku Islands, which Beijing calls the Diaoyu.
Full article: Japan wary of Philippine pivot to China (Nikkei Asian Review)