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Japan to work with Australia, India over N. Korea, open Indo-Pacific

NEW YORK — Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono agreed Thursday with his Australian and Indian counterparts that U.N. sanctions against North Korea should be fully implemented toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.


Kono told Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne and India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj separately that Japan is eager to work with each country to make sure the Indo-Pacific region is free and open.


Kono has held a series of bilateral meetings this week on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly where North Korea’s denuclearization is one of the major themes.


In a meeting with Payne, Kono appreciated Australia’s decision to send surveillance aircraft to monitor ship-to-ship goods transfers by North Korea and help ensure the enforcement of U.N. sanctions, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said.


In another meeting with Swaraj, Kono said India is the most important partner in realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific region and expressed hope for strengthening economic and security cooperation, the ministry said.


Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” aims to promote the rule of law, free trade, and people-to-people exchange. It is partly aimed at countering the growing maritime assertiveness of China.

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