20 July 2020 – The Honourable Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob, Senior Minister of Defence Malaysia received a telephone call from his counterpart, H.E. Kono Taro, Minister of Defense of Japan on 20 July 2020 at 4.00 pm. H.E. Kono congratulated the former on his appointment as the Senior Minister of Defence Malaysia.
Both Ministers discussed at length the prevailing global crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic. The two Ministers updated each other on the prevention and control measures undertaken by both countries, particularly the roles of the Malaysian Arm Forces and the Japan Self-Defense Forces in containing the spread of COVID-19.
The two Ministers acknowledged the importance of both countries’ continued and strengthened bilateral defence cooperation. Although challenged by the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Defence Ministers expressed their commitments to further deepen the bilateral defence relations based on the shared interests of both countries.
During the phone conversation, the two Ministers also touched on the dynamic global security landscape of mutual interest and common concern, including the South China Sea. Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri stated that Malaysia stands firm on its position that the South China Sea issue must be managed in a peaceful and rational manner through dialogue and consultations. He also underscored the importance for all parties to work together to ensure peace. security and stability in the South China Sea.
Prior to the phone conversation, the Honourable Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob received a courtesy call from H.E. Dato Paduka Hj Alaihuddin Mohd Taha, the High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam to Malaysia.
Among the matters discussed was the strengthening of bilateral defence relations between Malaysia and Brunei, particularly on border security cooperation, as well as the current COVID-19 situation.