• Sunday, Nov 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:42 am

Japan, Australia, India discuss strategic ties, regional security

  • Published at 05:29 pm October 7th, 2020
Quad Summit Pompeo Jaishankar
File photo: Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attend a meeting, in Tokyo on October 6, 2020 Reuters

Indian media had speculated that India will invite Australia to participate in the annual Malabar naval exercises with Japan and the USA

Japan and Australia on Wednesday discussed what Tokyo termed their special, strategic partnership, agreeing to broaden security measures and deepen cooperation in the face of "changing" regional conditions.

The meeting between Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Australian counterpart Marise Payne took place a day after four-way talks between the foreign ministers of Japan, the United States, Australia and India in which US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for deeper cooperation with Asian allies as a bulwark against China's growing regional influence.

Pompeo's visit, the first to Japan in more than a year, coincided with worsening tensions with China and saw him call for a united front against Beijing, a sensitive subject for Washington's allies which are reliant on China for trade.

China has warned about "exclusive cliques" that target third parties but statements about Wednesday's discussions did not mention China by name.

Motegi told Payne at the start of their meeting on Wednesday: "Our two nations have a special strategic partnership, and the possibilities for deepening cooperation are great". He did not elaborate.

But in their discussions the two agreed to broaden cooperation in the security sphere in response to "new issues", the Foreign Ministry said later in a statement, although no further details were given.

They also agreed to work towards a visit to Japan by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at "an appropriate time."

Motegi then met with Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and said Tokyo will continue to emphasize its strategic partnership with India under the government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who took office last month.

Indian media had speculated that India will invite Australia to participate in the annual Malabar naval exercises with Japan and the United States.

Delhi has hesitated on making the exercises bigger because China in the past has criticized such proposed multilateral drills as an anti-China grouping driven by the US.

Though the Foreign Ministry said Motegi and Jaishankar agreed to stay in close contact, no mention was made of the exercises.

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