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PM Suga to visit Vietnam, Indonesia 

Nikkei wrote that Prime Minister Suga is planning to visit Vietnam and Indonesia in mid-October as his first overseas trip since taking office in a bid to demonstrate to the world his commitment to upholding former Prime Minister Abe’s policy of promoting the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific while making the U.S.-Japan alliance the cornerstone of the nation’s diplomacy. Noting that Vietnam and Indonesia were also the first countries Abe visited during his second term as prime minister in 2012, the paper wrote that cooperation with the two countries, which play key roles within ASEAN, is crucial amid China’s active maritime activities in the South China Sea. The paper also wrote that Suga’s trip to the two nations is also aimed at paving the way for resuming international travel in order to revitalize the Japanese economy starting with countries where the coronavirus is relatively under control. 


The paper also wrote that Suga will launch his face-to-face diplomacy by meeting with Secretary of State Pompeo when he visits Japan next week to participate in a quadrilateral foreign ministerial meeting with his Japanese, Australian, and Indian counterparts on Oct. 6. The paper speculated that Suga wants to jumpstart his diplomatic activities before the next Diet session is convened on Oct. 23 or later so he can score achievements in diplomacy to address concerns about his ability to handle foreign policy issues. 


All other papers also reported on Suga’s planned trip to Vietnam and Indonesia. While Yomiuri echoed Nikkei’s view, Asahi focused on the opposition camp’s criticism that Suga is making light of the Diet by giving priority to his diplomatic schedule over delivering a policy speech to the legislative body.  

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