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Japan, Australia agree to work for ‘free, open Indo-Pacific' region

Japan, Australia agree to work for ‘free, open Indo-Pacific' region
During 2nd meeting in less than a week, defense ministers of 2 countries vow to coordinate on ‘regional engagement’

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) – The defense chiefs of Japan and Australia on Wednesday vowed to continue their “close” bilateral coordination in what Tokyo called “regional engagement.”

A joint statement released by the Japanese Defense Ministry said Japan’s Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo met his Australian counterpart Richard Marles in Tokyo to discuss their bilateral relations.

The statement said the two sides “resolved to continue their close bilateral coordination in regional engagement, with the aim of contributing to a free, open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific and maintaining the rules-based international order.”

It was their second meeting in less than a week. Earlier, they met in Singapore on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Under its new policy towards Asia, the US uses “Indo-Pacific” to refer to the wider Asia-Pacific region. Washington and its close allies, including Japan, Australia and India, formed a loose security alliance Quad to counter China’s expanding economic and military influence in the region.

Washington has also formed a wider Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) which has been signed by at least 13 nations, including the US.

Tokyo said the defense chiefs also “reflected on the US-Japan-Australia trilateral defense ministers’ meeting where the ministers affirmed their countries’ strategic alignment and concurred to proceed with concrete and practical steps to ensure the security of the Indo-Pacific region.”

The statement added Japan and Australia will also “increase cooperation in the area of space and cyber.”

source: News Feed
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