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Japanese Ambassador Backs India’s Stand Over Doklam Standoff

Media reports on Friday quoted Kenji Hiramatsu as saying that his country understood India’s concern over the Chinese army building a road on Bhutanese territory.

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Updated:August 18, 2017, 12:57 PM IST
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Japanese Ambassador Backs India’s Stand Over Doklam Standoff
Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India (Getty Images)
New Delhi: A month ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit, Japanese ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu has expressed support for India in the Doklam stand-off.

Media reports on Friday quoted Hiramatsu as saying that his country understood India’s concern over the Chinese army building a road on Bhutanese territory but refrained from commenting on whether he sees this as China’s growing aggression on the borders.

“We recognize Doklam is a disputed area between Bhutan and China and two countries are engaged in border talks… We also understand that the India has a treaty understanding with Bhutan that’s why Indian troops got involved in the area,” the Japanese envoy to India told Hindustan Times.

India and China has been engaged in a two-month-long border stand-off over a road that the Chinese army was constructing in Doklam area in Bhutan. This being a tri-junction border area, is a diplomatic hotbed for all the three countries involved.

While a number of countries, including the United States has expressed concern over the ongoing tension between India and China, Japan is the first major nation sharing a border (maritime) with China that has come forward to support India’s stand.

Hiramatsu, who is also the ambassador to Bhutan, has expressed his concerns to both New Delhi and Thimpu. The Japanese ambassador told Indian Express that “all parties involved should not resort to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force”.

India has maintained that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) road construction in Doklam was done to change the status of the crucial tri-junction and that it was objected to by Bhutan. New Delhi has also said that according to a 2012 understanding with China, any change in the status of tri-junction, the third party (in this case, Bhutan) has to be consulted.

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