Abe stresses 'rule of law' in oceans

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe opened the forum on Friday night with a high-profile speech full of thinly veiled comments targeting China.

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasised the importance of "the rule of law" in the oceans in his speech at the Asia Security Summit, which started Friday in Singapore, apparently eyeing China's provocative actions in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

In the speech at the meeting, which was organised by Britain's International Institute for Strategic Studies, Abe expressed an intention to help member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) strengthen their ocean surveillance capabilities.

Abe also said Japan will provide 10 new patrol boats to the Philippines.

In his speech, Abe cited three principles regarding the rule of law in the oceans:

-Nations should present their claims based on laws.

-Nations should not use force or threat to pass their claims.

-Nations should thoroughly aim to resolve conflicts through peaceful settlements.

The remarks seemed to be aimed at China as Chinese fighters flew unusually close to Self-Defence Forces planes over the East China Sea on May 24, and China has unilaterally begun to develop natural resources in the South China Sea.

"Taking our alliance with the United States as the foundation and respecting our partnership with ASEAN, Japan will spare no effort to establish regional stability, peace and prosperity," Abe said.