S China Sea row: Japan, ASEAN want peaceful settlement

Japan has agreed separately with Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos on importance of peacefully resolving territorial disputes in South China Sea.

Updated: Jul 12, 2012, 15:03 PM IST

Phnom Penh: Japan has agreed separately with Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos on the importance of resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea "peacefully”, Japanese diplomats said.

Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, in talks with his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong and with Laotian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on Wednesday, also discussed North Korea, according to the diplomats.

The consultations were held on the sidelines of meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its dialogue partners this week in Phnom Penh.

Gemba said North Korea must take "concrete actions toward denuclearisation”, while Hor Namhong, who visited Pyongyang last month, expressed hope that the ASEAN Regional Forum will contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, the diplomats said.

The security forum will bring together foreign ministers from 27 countries, including the members of the six-party talks on North Korea`s nuclear program.

The one-day security forum will be held on today.

Cambodia is this year`s chair of the 10-member ASEAN.

With Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, Gemba agreed to convene a ministerial strategic dialogue at an early date to bring the two countries` relations to the next stage, the diplomats said. (Kyodo)