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Japan to ask for S.Korea's consent before exercising self-defense right

Xinhua, April 20, 2015 Adjust font size:

Japan has positively responded to South Korea's strong call for Seoul's consent before exercising its right to collective self-defense around the South Korean territory, waters and airspace.

South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told a press briefing Monday that the country made it clear that Japan should closely consult with South Korea prior to conducting any military activities, including the exercising of the collective self-defense right, in and around the South Korean territory, waters and airspace that may affect South Korea's security interests.

The request was made by South Korea's Deputy Defense Minister Yoo Jeh-seung toward U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs David Shear and Hideshi Tokuchi, Japanese vice minister of Defense for International Affairs, during the Defense Trilateral Talks (DTT) held at the Pentagon for two days from April 16 to April 17.

The spokesman said that during the trilateral defense dialogue, Yoo clearly expressed South Korea's stance that Japan should ask for consent before its self-defense forces carry out any activity in and around the South Korean territory, waters and airspace.

The Japanese side said, in response, that it will put top priority on South Korea's position, while the United States will consider South Korea's national interests as sufficiently as possible.

The consultations were roughly in line with the results that came from the first security talks between South Korea and Japan in about five years held in Seoul on April 14.

During the "two-plus-two" dialogue, including senior defense and diplomatic officials, Japan pledged to respect South Korea's sovereignty when exercising its right to collective self-defense, which is expected to be materialized after the revision of defense cooperation guideline between Tokyo and Washington slated for later this month. Endi