News / Asia

    Japan: 'Strong Concern' About France-Russia Navy Deal

    Models of warships are seen in a pool with the blood of animals as members of the Democratic Alliance party take part in a performance in front of the French embassy, Kyiv May 15, 2014.
    Models of warships are seen in a pool with the blood of animals as members of the Democratic Alliance party take part in a performance in front of the French embassy, Kyiv May 15, 2014.
    Reuters

    Japan on Tuesday expressed "strong concern" about the planned sale of French helicopter carriers to Russia, joining some EU countries in opposing the deal as the West believes Russia has failed to meet international demands to end violence in Ukraine.

    President Francois Hollande has defied allies Britain and the United States by confirming plans to deliver a helicopter carrier to Russia.

    A 1.2-billion-euro ($1.62 billion) contract for two warships, signed by France's then-president Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative government in 2011, was the first by a NATO member country to supply Russia with military equipment.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron said last week fulfilling such an order would be unthinkable in Britain after the downing of the Malaysian Airlines plane in Ukraine.

    Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, in a meeting in Tokyo that Japan was strongly concerned about the plan given its potential impact on East Asia's security situation.

    One of the two French helicopter carriers Russia plans to procure is named Vladivostok, after Russia's Far Eastern seaport.

    "'Strong concern,' in a sense, means we want them to stop the deal," Onodera told reporters following his meeting with Le Drian.

    "The world is highly concerned about Ukraine and we are worried about the recent military buildup in Russia's Far East," he said. "If the ship is deployed to its namesake, that would be something that makes the whole world concerned."

    Le Drian responded by saying France understood Japan's concern but Russia has already made a payment, adding that if such sales are included in EU sanctions on Russia, France would follow the policy, a Japanese Defense Ministry official said.

    U.S. and European leaders agreed on Monday to impose wider sanctions on Russia, and EU member states were expected to try to reach a final deal on Tuesday on stronger measures that would include closing the bloc's capital markets to Russian state banks and an embargo on future arms sales.

    In a letter to EU leaders last week, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said there was an emerging consensus on some key principles, including only targeting future contracts, which would leave France free to go ahead with the delivery of the helicopter carriers being built for Russia.

    Western leaders say pro-Russian rebels almost certainly shot the Malaysian Airlines passenger plane down by mistake with a Russian-supplied surface-to-air missile, killing all 298 people on board. Moscow has blamed Kiev for the tragedy.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: gen from: japan
    August 01, 2014 11:01 AM
    oh! really? Japan protest Russia-France deal? I didn't know that.Mr.Abe is in south american country for business. His mind is only for trade with south american countries.

    by: william li from: canada
    July 30, 2014 1:20 PM
    great, Nato is falling apart!

    its not a suprise that France needs money desperately. First France then Germany. Russia and China together we can break down NATO piece by piece!

    by: Wycliffe from: Nairobi
    July 29, 2014 11:16 PM
    France you are doing A Very Foolish act! It seems you aren't together with your European counterparts and this's High level ignorance! Why don' you try other sources of income?! Imagine soon or later you are pounded by Russia with your same same own weapons?! Think twice!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora