Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
AP

Japan, EU agree to raise efforts on Russia, in Indo-Pacific

  • Updated
  • 0

TOKYO (AP) — Japan and the European Union on Thursday agreed to step up their sanctions against Russia as leaders from the two sides raised concerns about the war’s impact in the Indo-Pacific, where they seek to strengthen their partnership and increase engagement amid China's growing assertiveness.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who held talks in Tokyo with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, told a joint news conference that Japan supports tough sanctions against Russia and ample support for Ukraine because the war “shakes the foundation of the world order not only in Europe but also in Asia.”

“Security in Europe and in the Indo-Pacific are inseparable,” Kishida said.

The EU leaders said they want to take a greater role and responsibility in the region and agreed to bolster cooperation in a range of areas including digital transformation, renewable energy and climate.

“The Indo-Pacific is a thriving region. It is also a theater of tensions. Take the situation in the East and South China seas or the constant threat of (North Korea),” von der Leyen said at the news conference, referring to rising tensions over Beijing’s increasingly assertive maritime actions and Pyongyang's missile and nuclear threats.

“We want to take more responsibility in a region that is so vital to our prosperity,” she said.

Von der Leyen added that Russia’s “barbaric war” against Ukraine has raised concerns about China’s growing influence and ambitions.

Michel said cooperation on Ukraine is critical in Europe and also important in the Indo-Pacific.

“We believe that China must stand up to defend the multilateral system that it benefited from in developing its country," he said, noting the EU wants to “deepen our cooperation on a more assertive China.”

Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said the EU's move reflects a major shift away from China amid growing concerns over Beijing’s human rights issues and other problems in the region.

Japan quickly joined other countries in imposing sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. There is growing fear in Tokyo that the war may embolden China to take more assertive military actions in the East and South China seas, where Beijing’s vast territorial claims have overlapped with those of its smaller neighbors.

Japan has frozen the assets of Russian leaders, including President Vladimir Putin, and government officials and billionaires close to him as well as key banks. It has also restricted trade and announced a decision to phase out imports of Russian coal and crude oil.

Von der Leyen will leave Japan after a working lunch on Thursday, while Michel will travel to Hiroshima, where he is set to pay tribute Friday to atomic bombing victims.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

0 Comments
0
0
0
0
0

Get Government & Politics updates in your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Republican Katie Arrington’s suspended security clearance is becoming an issue in her primary campaign against incumbent South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace. Arrington says Mace is mischaracterizing a dispute that resulted in her departure from a job at the Pentagon. Arrington says her security clearance was suspended in 2021 when officials accused her of an improper disclosure of classified information. Arrington says she did nothing wrong, a contention backed up in an affidavit from the officer who gave her intelligence briefings. The dispute is likely to surface at a debate between the two on Monday. The primary is June 14.

Concern is mounting over the fate of Ukrainian fighters who have become Moscow’s prisoners as Russia claimed full control of the Mariupol steel plant. A separatist leader in eastern Ukraine said nearly 2,500 Ukrainian fighters were in custody and they were sure to face tribunals. Their family members have pleaded for them to be given rights as prisoners of war and eventually returned to Ukraine. Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Ukraine “will fight for the return” of every one of them. The steel plant for weeks was the last Ukrainian holdout in Mariupol and a symbol of Ukrainian tenacity in the strategic port city.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is warning that Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine has produced a sharp increase in food and energy prices that is contributing to a slowdown in growth and creating greater risk of global stagflation. Yellen, speaking in Germany, added that the U.S. is “best positioned” to meet this economic challenge because of its strong jobs market, but she said that food shortages are a threat around the world that needs to be addressed. Her comments came as U.S. and other officials rolled out a multi-billion dollar plan to address the food security problem, a key danger facing an increasingly fragile world economy. The U.S., several global development banks and other groups collaborated on the effort.

President Joe Biden says the U.S. would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan. It was one of the most forceful presidential statements in support of Taiwan's self-governing in decades. Biden spoke at a news conference Monday in Tokyo and said the burden to protect Taiwan was “even stronger” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. traditionally has avoided making such an explicit security guarantee to Taiwan, with which it no longer has a mutual defense treaty. Biden’s comments drew strong criticism from the mainland, which has claimed Taiwan to be a rogue province.

Several of Georgia's statewide officials are battling to keep their offices in down-ballot primary elections being decided Tuesday. State Attorney General Chris Carr and Insurance Commissioner John King both face fellow Republicans endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Trump is also backing one of four Republicans in the open race for lieutenant governor. Meanwhile, Republican state school Superintendent Richard Woods is being opposed by his predecessor, John Barge.

Donald Trump’s choice for Pennsylvania governor has won his primary, and his Senate pick is locked in an exceedingly close contest as the former president works to expand his hold on the Republican Party. Trump’s late endorsement helped put the already surging far-right state senator Doug Mastriano over the top Tuesday in the GOP governor’s primary in one of the nation’s premier battleground states. But Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon endorsed by Trump, is locked with former hedge fund manager David McCormick in a race that is too early to call. On the Democratic side, progressive Lt. Gov. John Fetterman easily secured his party's Senate nomination. 

Sarah Sanders may be on the verge of winning the Republican nomination for governor in Arkansas after employing the same skills she used as former President Donald Trump's spokesperson. Sanders is heavily favored in Tuesday's Republican primary after shattering fundraising records and blanketing the state with ads focused on national issues. She faces a long-shot challenge from former talk radio host Doc Washburn. Chris Jones is the front-runner among five Democrats in Tuesday's primary in the conservative state. Sanders' father, Mike Huckabee, served as the state's governor for a decade.

Two U.S. Secret Service employees in South Korea to prepare for President Joe Biden’s visit were sent home  Thursday after being involved in a confrontation with locals that led to a police investigation. An agent and an armed physical security specialist were involved in an alcohol-fueled incident that included a heated argument with a taxi driver and led to local law enforcement filing a police report. That's according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to comment publicly. Other witnesses also lodged complaints about the federal law enforcement officers' behavior. No charges were filed. The Secret Service says it is investigating.

In Pennsylvania governor’s race, a candidate who has spread lies about the 2020 vote count won the Republican nomination, putting an election denier within striking distance of running a presidential battleground state in 2024. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump’s support was enough to elevate his Senate candidate to victory in North Carolina on Tuesday. Trump's pick in Pennsylvania remained in a tough fight in that state’s Senate primary. In a key congressional race, a Republican congressman’s bad behavior finally caught up with him. In Idaho, the governor weathered a primary challenge from his far-right lieutenant governor.

Russia has halted natural gas exports to neighboring Finland. The highly symbolic move that came early Saturday marks a likely end to nearly 50 years of natural gas import from Moscow to Helsinki. It also comes just days after Finland announced it wanted to join NATO. Russia’s energy giant Gazprom cut gas supplies after Finland refused to pay for the gas in rubles as demanded by Russian President Vladimir Putin after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February. Moscow also cut off electricity exports to Finland earlier this month. The Finnish state-controlled oil company Neste has also decided to replace imports of Russian crude oil with crude from elsewhere.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News