To counter China, Japan pushes for 4-party talks with India, US and Australia

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New Delhi | Updated: Oct 27, 2017 10:09 AM

With an aim to counter China’s aggressive maritime expansion under its Belt and Road Initiative, Japan was considering proposing a top-level dialogue with the US, India and Australia. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told this to The Nikkei Business Daily.

china, new delhi, sushma swaraj, Rex Tillerson, Japan, India, Pakistan, United states, US Japan, Japan India, US Japan India, Rex TillersonWith an aim to counter China’s aggressive maritime expansion under its Belt and Road Initiative, Japan was considering proposing a top-level dialogue with the US, India and Australia. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told this to The Nikkei Business Daily. (Image- Reuters, PTI)

With an aim to counter China’s aggressive maritime expansion under its Belt and Road Initiative, Japan was considering proposing a top-level dialogue with the US, India and Australia. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told this to The Nikkei Business Daily. This comes a day after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj that Washington was looking forward to ‘further cooperation in the broader Indo-Pacific region’, according to Indian Express report.

So far, Ministry of External Affairs has not released any official statement. It has been learnt that that New Delhi and other partner countries have held discussions at the “working level” on the issue and it is expected to be fleshed out in the lead-up to the ASEAN summit in the Philippines in mid-November. “There is a broad understanding at the official level. Now, the decision has to be taken at the political level,” according to IE report.

Earlier, EAM Swaraj had hinted at the possibility of cooperation after meeting Tillerson on Wednesday. She said they agreed that they would work together, and “with other partners”, to promote Indo-Pacific cooperation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to travel to the Philippines in the second week of November to attend the 31st ASEAN and East Asia summit, where he is expected to meet US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, among others, the report said.

“We are in an era when Japan has to exert itself diplomatically by drawing a big strategic picture,” Kono was quoted as saying by The Nikkei. In New Delhi, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, while participating in a panel discussion organised by Carnegie India on regional cooperation in the Bay of Bengal between India and Japan, said: “We are interested in working with nations whose broad goals are aligned with us. Japan is one such nation.”

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