Thursday, July 31, 2014
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捍卫海洋法治精神

东京—日本正处在一个比以往任何时候都更有利于其在确保亚洲和世界和平的问题上起到更大更积极作用的位置。我们拥有来自盟国和其他友邦的明确而热烈的支持,包括所有东盟成员国、美国、澳大利亚、印度、英国、法国等。所有这些国家都知道日本站在法治精神这一边——也站在亚洲和全人类这一边。

我们不孤单。在大部分亚太国家,经济增长培育了思想和宗教自由以及可问责性更高、响应更快的政治制度。尽管这一变革的速度因国而异,但法治精神的思想已经站稳了脚跟。而这意味着亚太地区政治领导人必须确保尊重国际法。

关于这一点,没有比国际海洋法领域更清楚的了。亚太地区在一代人的时间里实现了巨大的增长成就。遗憾的是,这一果实的大到有些不成比例的部分被用在了军事扩张上。不稳定的源头不但包括大规模杀伤性武器的威胁,也包括通过武力或吞并改变领土现状的企图的威胁。其中又以主要发生在海洋的后者的威胁为甚。

最近,美国总统奥巴马和我共同确认,两国的盟友关系是地区和平与安全的基石。此外,美国和日本正在强化与观念相近的伙伴国家的三角合作以促进地区和全球和平与经济繁荣。澳大利亚总理阿伯特和我已经达成共识,这正是我们需要努力的方向。

国际海洋法的历史十分悠久,可以追溯到古希腊。在罗马时期,海洋已经向所有人开放,个人占有和划界的行为是被禁止的。自地理大发现时期以来,许多人出于各种理由从事航海,基于海洋的商业将世界各地区连接在一起。公海自由成为人类繁荣的基本原则。

现在所形成的国际海洋法不是由一国或一个集团制定的。它是全人类集体智慧的产物,是以全人类的福利为目标经历多年形成的。如今,许多人道利益取决于从印度洋到太平洋的海路的完全开放。

但是,这又意味着什么?如果我们提取千百年来我们在国际法中所注入的精神病总结出三条原则,那么海洋法治精神就成为了常识问题。

首先,各国应该基于海洋法主张并论证它们的权利。其次,各国不应该试图使用武力或吞并手段来实现它们的主张。第三,各国应该寻求通过和平途径解决争端。这三条原则都非常简单——几乎可以说不言自明——它们必须予以强调,因为亚洲和太平洋地区的所有国家政府都必须严格遵守它们。

以印尼和菲律宾为例,两国领导人和平地就各自专属经济区重叠的问题形成了一致。类似地,我的政府强烈支持菲律宾呼吁就南海领土纠纷形成于国际海洋法的三大原则真正相符的解决方案,正如我们支持越南通过对话解决领土主张冲突的努力。

亚太地区各国政府不能试图通过让某一既成事实凌驾于另一既成事实而巩固现状的改变,而应该切实承诺回归所有相关各方都同意的2002年《南海各方行为宣言》(Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea)的精神和条款。当今世界,各国不应该害怕吞并和威胁将取代规则和法律。我强烈地希望东盟成员国和中国能够迅速建立真正有效的南海行动法则。

2007年,时任中国总理温家宝和首次担任日本首相的我代表两国形成了一项协议。我们承诺建立海洋和空中沟通机制以防止两国间未预见到的事故导致紧张和误会。不幸的是,这一承诺并未转化为这一机制的实施。

我们不欢迎战斗机和军舰在海上的危险对峙。日本和中国需要交流的是辞令。难道我们不应该在谈判桌前相见,微笑着握手然后坐下来谈判?

我相信,遵循2007年协议有助于促进整个地区的和平与稳定。但我也知道,确保长期安全需要更多的协议,每一个协议都是地区自由与繁荣网的重要节点。

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  1. Commentedslightly optimistic

    International law?
    Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger [remember the Nixon shock in 1971] made some dismissive comments about this in his book 'Diplomacy': "Empires have no interest in operating within an international system; they aspire to be the international system. Empires have no need for a balance of power. That is how the United States has conducted its foreign policy in the Americas, and China through most of its history in Asia."

  2. CommentedJeff GE

    China does not have a long history for rule of law. Some may even question if China has a system of rule of law now. So on the issue of securing the rule of law, those countries who have a long history of rule of law (or least make such a claim) should set an example of rule of law for other countries to follow and not use the rule of law as tool for their own gains.

  3. Commentedslightly optimistic

    Re the UN Law of the Sea, the US is not the only country refusing to surrender its sovereignty on property rights. Beijing has signed the treaty but then effectively unsigned it. In 2010 China's foreign minister insisted that the South China Sea is a "core national interest," adding: "China is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that is just a fact."

  4. CommentedJeff GE

    To secure the rule of law at sea, the prime minister should persuade US to ratify UN Law of the Sea Convention first. After that, he may claim that Japan enjoys the explicit and enthusiastic support from US.
    Second, Japan should stop commercial whaling in waters claimed by other countries. After that, the prime minister may claim that "Japan stands for the rule of law -- for Asia and for all people".

    As for dangerous encounters by fighter aircraft and vessels at sea, well, it takes two to tango.

    The prime minister either overestimated his intelligence or underestimated the intelligence of others by double-talking the issue of rule of law.

  5. CommentedYoshimichi Moriyama

    The United States, Australia and Japan should give a variety of aid such as perosonnel training, aircraft, vessels to Vietnam, the Philippines, Malyasia and the like so that they will be better equipped for maritime and aerial patrolling and law-enforcement.

    I support Abe, though not with carte blanche. He should refrain from doing or uttering things that might be interpreted overseas as remilitarizing attempts. Instead, he should explain to the overseas audience how his security policy is in resonance with, and approved and encouraged by South East Asian countries and how Japanese secutity and foreign affairs experts are frequently meeting and talking with their counterparts from Washington, Canberra, Manila and so on.

  6. Commentedj. von Hettlingen

    Prime Minister Abe writes: "Japan is in a better position than ever before to play a larger and more proactive role in ensuring peace in Asia and the world". Indeed he has China's rise and America's pivot to Asia to thank for it. It's unclear how much "explicit and enthusiastic support" Japan enjoys of its "allies and other friendly countries". Nevertheless it offers these countries its support in their territorial disputes with China. In most cases "Japan stands for the rule of law. Whether it also stands "for Asia and for all people", is polemic.
    It is true that many Asian countries are seeing economic growth. Hence it is important to enforce a legal framework to secure "regional peace and security". In this essay, Mr. Abe is appealing to "all governments in Asia and the Pacific" to respect international maritime law. China is a member of the International Martime Organisation and should uphold the martime treaty. In recent months its unilateral actions and gunboat diplomacy in South China Sea have made big waves. China's territorial claims are seen as questionable and it has been accused by the contesting parties of violating international maritime law.
    Mr. Abe has not accused China of violating maritime law in this essay, he is perhaps aware of the saying: "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Japan's whaling industry is also a contentious issue and Japanese whalers have often violated international maritime law, by hunting and killing whales in territorial waters, claimed by Australia and New Zealand. Greence Peace had disrupted a Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctica in 2008. Its more radical peer, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society had been allegedly attacked by Japanese whalers last February in the Southern Ocean.
    Although whale hunting is part of what Japan calls a scientific research programme, permitted under a clause in International Whaling Commission rules, the same research goals could be achieved using non-lethal methods. This programme is said to be a front for commercial whaling, as every year hundreds of minke and fin whales are being killed.
    It is a pity that the relationship between China and Japan is so frayed that they can not implement "an agreement" signed in 2007, which would "create a maritime and air communication mechanism in order to prevent unforeseen incidents" resulting from "tensions and miscalculation".

  7. Commentedhari naidu

    If I read the tea leaves of Abe’s containment theory of China, in the Sea Lanes of Asia-Pacific region, I’ve a feeling he’s forgotten or misunderstood that Pivot to Asia actually means Pivot to China – for Obama. US will not take sides on the disputed territories in South China Sea. But, for Obama, the ultimate political/legal constraint remains US Senate opposition or lack of ratification of UN Law of the Sea Convention (10 December 1982). 165 countries have, so far, singed the UN Convention. Official rhetoric alone will not suffice against China, as Hagel recently did in Asia. Defense Dept is not the right party to deal with territorial conflict in South China Sea. Only State Dept is capable of dealing with it; however under GWB a lot of these subject matters were transferred to Defense….



    Fact is that Abe’s Japan (along with Germany) is the largest trading partner of PRC. China knows that Japan can’t afford to misjudge the importance of its market to Tokyo. Neither does Japan have the naval military power to challenge China in South China Sea. So this sabre rattling by Abe is for what purpose? You don’t negotiate with Beijing by accusing it of maritime aggression. In other words, China demands Tokyo to stop its political propaganda – eg. visiting the (Fascist) Shrine – and admitting its historical mistakes as an occupation imperial power on mainland China. This seems to be the Chinese precondition; and then the political and diplomatic process can start.

  8. Commentedslightly optimistic

    Ownership of property is a touchy subject. The refusal of countries to OK an international tribunal with power to enforce its judgments means continuing friction over the hundreds of territorial disputes around the world - including resource entitled areas like Ukraine, China seas and the Arctic.
    The US, among many, is unwilling to sign the UN's Law of the Sea Treaty; surrendering any sovereignty to the United Nations is something it wrestles with.

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