CORRECTED: Japan, Mozambique affirm importance of rules-based int'l order

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi affirmed Thursday the importance of maintaining a rules-based international order and voiced their opposition to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force.

The remarks were apparently made with China's increasing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific and Russia's ongoing war with Ukraine in mind.

The meeting in Mozambique's capital of Maputo comes as Kishida seeks to gain the support of the "Global South" ahead of the Group of Seven summit, to be hosted by Japan later this month in the city of Hiroshima.

The Global South is a term that collectively refers to emerging and developing countries, most of which have sought to avoid taking sides over Russia's invasion. Mozambique, which maintains strong ties with China and Russia, is considered a part of the Global South.

"Africa is a partner with which Japan will grow together," Kishida said at a press conference following their meeting.

As he wrapped up a six-day African tour that also took him to Egypt, Ghana and Kenya, Kishida and Nyusi shared the view that Russia should not use or threaten the use of nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine.

The two leaders also agreed to look at resuming a joint project related to liquefied natural gas development. The southern African nation is rich in natural resources, but construction for the venture has been suspended due to the worsening security situation in Mozambique.

Mozambique has historical ties with Russia, having received support from the former Soviet Union when it gained independence from Portugal. China is also increasing its influence in the country through infrastructure investment.

© Kyodo News