Japan-Australia-India-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Meeting
On February 18, from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs, with Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of Australia, H.E. Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India, and The Honorable Antony Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States, held a telephone meeting. The overview of the meeting is as follows:
- The four Ministers welcomed the fact that this meeting was realized in the early days of the Biden administration of the U.S.
- The four Ministers welcomed the continued progress in practical discussion and cooperation among the four countries since the second ministers' meeting. In addition, they shared the recognition that the existing international order has been under challenge in various fields including unilateral attempts to change the status quo and that the four countries, which share basic values and are deeply committed to reinforcing a free and open global order based on the rule of law, are playing increasingly important role under such situations.
- The four Ministers confirmed the importance of promoting the vision of a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" together with more countries for the realization of the vision. They also shared the view in further deepening engagement and cooperation with ASEAN, the Pacific Island, and European countries. In this regard, the four Ministers reaffirmed their strong support for the "ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific", which is ASEAN's proactive efforts, and ASEAN's unity and centrality as well as the ASEAN-led regional architecture. They also welcomed proactive efforts by other countries including those in Europe toward a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific."
- The four Ministers concurred on further advancing practical cooperation in various areas towards the realization of a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific", such as quality infrastructure, maritime security, counter-terrorism, cyber security, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, education and human resource development.
- Foreign Minister Motegi expressed grave concern for deteriorating situation in Myanmar, and explained that Japan was strongly urging the Myanmar military to immediately stop violence against citizens including shootings, release those who have been detained including State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and swiftly restore Myanmar's democratic political system. The four Ministers shared the view on the need to recover the democratic regime early.
- Foreign Minister Motegi expressed serious concern with regard to the China's Coast Guard Law, and the four Ministers concurred to strongly oppose unilateral and forceful attempts to change the status quo in the context of the East and South China Sea.
- In addition, the four Ministers also exchanged views on regional issues such as North Korea as well as cooperation on global challenges including response to the COVID-19 and climate change.
- The four Ministers reaffirmed to make sure that they will meet every year and to coordinate closely at the working level.