New Delhi: The Foreign Minister of India – Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will visit Japan on October 6 and 7 to attend the second ministerial meeting of the Quad and to hold a series of bilateral meetings against the backdrop of the border standoff with China.
The External Affairs Ministry said that “Jaishankar is visiting Tokyo for bilateral consultations with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi and the two ministers are expected to discuss bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest,”
“During the visit, the external affairs minister will also participate in the second India-Australia-Japan-USA ministerial meeting on 6 October, 2020, in which the foreign ministers of the respective countries will participate,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The foreign ministers of the Quad, which was upgraded to the ministerial level in September last year, will discuss the post-Covid-19 international order and the need for a coordinated response to the various challenges emerging from the pandemic”, MEA in the statement.
During his visit to Japan Jaishankar will hold bilateral consultation with Australian foreign minister Marise Payne and US secretary of state Mike Pompeo. The ministers will also discuss regional issues and “collectively affirm the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific”.
The Quad meet comes against the backdrop of China’s aggressive actions across the Indo-Pacific.
At present all four nations are facing different disputes with China – In which the US facing trade war with China, India is engaged in a border standoff in Ladakh, Japan is worried about Chinese navy presence near Senkaku Island and the Australian government has pledged to halt projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
On the Japan and India relation, Jaishankar recently said India and Japan were looking at cooperating on projects in Bangladesh and Myanmar as part of their efforts to work together in third countries.
Ahead of the second ministerial meeting of the Quad, senior officials of the four countries held consultations on September 25 on collective efforts to advance a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
The officials also exchanged views on ongoing and proposed practical cooperation in connectivity and infrastructure development and security matters, including counter-terrorism, cyber and maritime security.