Japan -Australia-India-U.S. Consultations
Senior officials from Japan, Australia, India, and the United States met by videoconference, on December 18, 2020. The participants were Mr. YAMADA Shigeo, Deputy Minister for Foreign Policy and Mr. ENDO Kazuya, Deputy Director General, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, from Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Justin Hayhurst, Deputy Secretary (Indo-Pacific Group) and Dr. Lauren Bain, Assistant Secretary, ASEAN and Regional Architecture Branch, from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ms. Vani Rao, Joint Secretary (Americas) and Mr. Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia), from India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Mr. David Stilwell, Assistant Secretary of State (East Asian and Pacific Affairs) and Mr. Dean Thompson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (South and Central Asian Affairs) , from the U.S. Department of State.
- As a follow-up of the Foreign Minister’s meeting on October 6, the officials concurred on further advancing practical cooperation on quality infrastructure, maritime security, counter-terrorism, cyber security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and education and human resource development, toward the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific”. They also exchanged views on regional issues such as North Korea and the East and South China Seas.
- The officials reaffirmed the importance of broadening cooperation with more countries for the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” as the vision serves for the peace and prosperity of the region and its importance in the post-COVID world is increasing. In this regard, Japan introduced such developments as the Joint Statement of the 23rd Japan-ASEAN Summit on Cooperation on ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, announced at the Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting in November, and the officials reaffirmed their strong support for ASEAN’s unity and centrality as well as the ASEAN-led regional architecture, and their full support for the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific.
- The officials concurred on continuing regular consultations and on coordinating the next Foreign Minister’s meeting at an appropriate timing next year, as concurred by the Foreign Ministers at the meeting on October 6.