PH, Japan deplore Bucha killings in Ukraine

PH, JAPAN DEFENSE TALKS. (L-R) Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi meet in person in Tokyo, Japan on April 9, 2022. The two Filipino ministers are in Tokyo for the first Japan-Philippines Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting (2+2). (Photo courtesy of Japanese MOFA)

MANILA – The Philippine and Japanese governments deplored on Saturday the civilian deaths in Bucha, scores of which were uncovered following the Russian forces’ retreat from the Ukrainian city.

Manila and Tokyo’s foreign and defense ministers made the remarks during their inaugural 2+2 talks in Tokyo but did not explicitly condemn any party over what had been described by Ukraine as a massacre.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa, and Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo underscored that aggression against a United Nations Member State “constitutes a serious violation of international law prohibiting the use of force, and is a grave breach of the UN Charter.”

They also deplored the “dire humanitarian consequences of the hostilities, especially in Bucha.”

Disturbing images taken from Bucha, a small town near Kyiv, last week showed hundreds of executed civilians, some with their hands tied and gunshot wounds on their heads, lying on the streets after Russian forces withdrew from the city.

The four Asian ministers stressed that the situation in Ukraine does not only affect Europe but also Asia, adding that the aggression there “jeopardizes the foundation of the international order which does not accept any unilateral change of the internationally recognized borders through the use of force.”

The ministers cited the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes and called for de-escalation as well as immediate withdrawal of forces from Ukraine.

Meanwhile, they expressed “deep concern” about the possible use of nuclear or chemical weapons in armed conflict, saying neither the threat nor the use of it can be tolerated under any circumstances. (PNA)

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