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Philippines seeks formal talks with China amid South China Sea tensions-Ramos

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The Philippines challenged the validity of China's claims and aggressive actions in the South China Sea after Chinese government ships took control of the disputed Scarborough Shoal following a tense standoff in 2012. Sources say that Tokyo intends to increase the number of defense attaches to improve information sharing and data gathering regarding China's military activities.

A day before he flew to the Philippines on Wednesday, Kishida summoned China's ambassador in Tokyo to protest the increased number of Chinese vessels in waters near islands in the East China Sea that China and Japan have been contesting.

As of April 1, 61 Japanese defense attaches were stationed in major embassies and worldwide organizations around the world.

Ramos said neither side asserted their own sovereignty over disputed areas in the South China Sea such as the Scarborough Shoal and Mischief Reef.

CHINESE officials have welcomed former President Fidel Ramos in Beijing, who was there to initiate the bilateral talks between the two countries following the Hague-based arbitral tribunal's ruling on the South China Sea disputes.

"This is not the kind of action that is mandated by worldwide law", Yasay said, referring to what he said the Philippines and Japan saw as Chinese intimidation and provocation in connection with their disputes.

Yasay urged China to make sure that maritime order and security and the rule of law are "completely and uncompromisingly" respected.

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"I believe that in achieving the rule of law, Japan would like to cooperate closely with the concerned countries and appeal to the importance of peaceful solutions", he said.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida paid a courtesy call to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City on August 11, 2016.

Along with this, Kishida also vowed to continue its strategic partnership with the Philippines, particularly in maritime security and counterterrorism.

Mr. Yasay also noted Japan's $5.7-billion development assistance to the Philippines.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said at the forum that the Philippines should file a new case against China over the extensive damage it had caused in Philippine waters with its island building in the South China Sea.

China, Carpio said, violated the worldwide customary law and provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that committed states to protect the marine environment.

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