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Japan PM opposes any step to heighten South China Sea tension

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press briefing with Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc following an exchange of documents at the Government Office in Hanoi, Vietnam October 19, 2020. Nhac Nguyen/Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday Tokyo opposes any steps to raise tension in the South China Sea, and that disputes should be resolved through peaceful means.

“Japan strongly opposes any behaviour that heightens tension in the South China Sea,” Suga said is his speech in Hanoi.

Vietnam and some other ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members have territorial feuds with China in vital South China Sea waterways.

“Regarding the South China Sea issue, it is important for all countries concerned not to rely on force or threat but to work toward peaceful resolution based on international law,” Suga said.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Alison Williams