Tokyo, Oct 6: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, along with his counterparts from the United States, Japan, and Australia, met Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga here on Tuesday to discuss bilateral and global dimensions of the "special partnership" of the Quadrilateral group members.
India, the US, Japan, and Australia form the Quadrilateral group. The ministers - US Secretary Mike Pompeo, Jaishankar, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne - are in Tokyo to attend the Quadrilateral foreign ministers meeting. "Called on PM @sugawitter along with other Quad Foreign Ministers. Spoke about the bilateral and global dimensions of our special partnership," Jaishankar wrote on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, Jaishankar met Pompeo and said that India and the US will work together for stability and prosperity in the Indian Pacific. Later in the day, Jaishankar, Payne, Pompeo, and Japanese foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi are slated to hold a quad foreign ministers meeting. It will be the first ministerial-level international meeting hosted by Japan since the pandemic began, and also since Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took power this month.
Earlier, it was stated that the foreign ministers of the Quad will discuss the "post-COVID-19 international order and the need for a coordinated response to the various challenges emerging from the pandemic", according to the statement. The ministers will also discuss regional issues and "collectively affirm the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific".
India-Pacific region is largely viewed as an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea. China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system.
The Quad meeting comes against the backdrop of China’s aggressive actions across the Indo-Pacific. All the four countries are having differences with China as India is engaged in a border standoff in Ladakh, Australia has announced to stop projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Japan is concerned about Chinese interfering near the Senkaku Islands while the US is engaged in a trade war.
Along with them, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan also have counterclaims in the South China Sea. Beijing's rising assertiveness against counter claimants in the East and South Sea has resulted in unprecedented agreement across the Indian-Pacific.