Top diplomats from the U.S., Australia and India plan to gather in Tokyo next week to discuss their common regional issues including growing China's aggression.
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters Tuesday that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, and India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will meet for talks Oct. 6.
Three nations have been involved in Quad talks which now can become a base of more comprehensive cooperation that can be a foundation for Asian NATO, the project which The Owner earlier described.
Mr Motegi, noting the "increasing value proposition" that the Free and Open Indo-Pacific brings to the region, told a news conference: "It is timely that foreign ministers from the four countries that share the same ambitions over regional matters exchange views over various challenges."
He added they are expected to discuss the virus and the economy hurt by the pandemic and other regional concerns.
“The vision of ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ will be even more important in a post-coronavirus world,” he stated. “In order to achieve it, I hope to confirm at the upcoming meeting the importance to deepen our cooperation with other countries.”
Secretary Pompeo will subsequently visit Mongolia on Oct. 7 and South Korea on Oct. 7-8 for talks with senior officials in those countries, according to State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.
Japanese Ministe Mr Suga is also planning his first overseas visits since he took office, to Vietnam and Indonesia next month, Japanese media reported. This echoes his predecessor Shinzo Abe, who had also visited the two countries first after taking office amid the Asean-centric focus.