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Message-ID: <199805120805.EAA04616@access1.digex.net>
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 04:05:35 -0400
Reply-To: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@msu.edu>
Sender: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@msu.edu>
From: Alex G Bardsley <bardsley@ACCESS.DIGEX.NET>
Subject: Fwd: IN: JP warning on Malacca Straits (StraitsTimes)
To: Multiple recipients of list SEASIA-L <SEASIA-L@msu.edu>

X-URL: http://straitstimes.asia1.com/pages/sea16_0512.html

Warning on Malacca Straits

From Singapore Press
12 May 1998

TOKYO -- Japan warned Indonesia yesterday that its defence guidelines with the United States could come into play if civil unrest in Indonesia prevented navigation through the Malacca Straits.

Mr Taku Yamasaki, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party's Policy Research Council, delivered the warning to visiting Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economics and Finance Ginandjar Kartasasmita.

"If Indonesia's economic and political unrest affects safe navigation of the Malacca Straits, we may have to discuss the possibility that a geographic scope of the guidelines would extend to the straits," he said.

Reports here have said Japan would give military backing to the US during any conflict across an area encompassing the Taiwan Straits, the Korean peninsula and the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea under new US-Japan defence guidelines.

But the Malacca Straits reportedly remains outside the area.

Japanese tankers need to sail through the straits for crude oil shipments from the Middle East while the US is also concerned that instability could jeopardise secure passage of US warships through the straits. AFP

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Copyright _ 1998 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.

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