Komeito leader Yamaguchi begins ASEAN visit in Malaysia, stressing importance of dialogue with China

Yomiuri Shimbun
Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi (right) meets with Malaysian Foreign Minister Mohamad Hasan in Kuala Lumpur

KUALA LUMPUR – Komeito Party leader Natsuo Yamaguchi has begun a tour of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, starting with Malaysia, to demonstrate his party’s stance of pursuing peace.

Meeting with Malaysian Foreign Minister Hasan in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, Yamaguchi said with an eye on China’s growing hegemonic ambitions that “the rule of law is important whether you are a small country or a superpower,” and said the party attaches importance to dialogue with China.

“We have serious concerns” about Malaysia and China claiming parts of the same territory in the South China Sea, Mohamad said. [about the situation].”

The Komeito Party has traditionally had close ties with China, and Yamaguchi met with aide to Chinese President Xi Jinping in China last year. However, in order to strike a diplomatic balance, the party has been focusing on strengthening ties with ASEAN countries since last year.

Yamaguchi is scheduled to visit Cambodia and exchange views with officials from government agencies working on mine action.

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