Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu on Thursday supported Delhi’s stand of engaging in dialogue through diplomatic channels with China to find a solution to the Doklam standoff, reported The Times of India. He said Japan had been watching the situation very closely as the impasse in the Sikkim sector could affect the stability of the entire region.

“As far as India’s role is concerned, we understand that India is involved in this incident based on bilateral agreements with Bhutan,” the Japanese envoy said, according to The Times of India. “External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has made it clear that India will continue to engage with dialogue through diplomatic channels with China to find a mutually acceptable solution. We consider this attitude towards peaceful resolution important.”

Hiramatsu further said that there should be no attempt to change the status quo by force. “What is important in disputed areas is that all parties involved do not resort to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force and resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner.”

The ambassador’s comments come a month ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India from September 13 to September 15.

The Sikkim standoff

India and China are currently locked in a diplomatic standoff. Both nations have maintained that troops from the other country had transgressed into their territory in the Sikkim sector’s Doklam area.

Bilateral ties have been strained since the Indian Army stopped China from constructing a road in the region. New Delhi has made it clear that it will not allow China to construct a motorable road up to the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction through the Doklam plateau.