Japan Sends Envoy to Solomons over China Security Pact

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Tuesday that a top Japanese official had expressed worries to Solomon Islands Prime Minister over the country’s newly inked security deal with China, fearing Beijing might expand its military power.

The security agreement “may affect the security of the entire Pacific region,” according to the foreign minister, who said that Parliamentary Vice Foreign Minister Kentaro Uesugi informed Manasseh Sogavare, the Solomon Islands’ prime minister, at a meeting in the southwest Pacific island.

Sogavare explained his country’s attitude “based on the view that it has maintained,” Hayashi said at a press conference, saying that it has no intention of allowing China to develop military outposts.

According to the information published on Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, Uesugi and Sogavare addressed the strengthening of bilateral ties and international collaboration during their three-day visit to the island country, which ended on Wednesday.

China announced last week that it had inked a security agreement with the Solomon Islands, allowing Beijing to deploy forces and dock ships in the islands, though the terms of the new agreement are unknown.

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