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Changes in GOJ’s language on Indo-Pacific draw attention

Yomiuri wrote that since the final days of the former Abe administration, the GOJ has stopped using the words “strategy” or “initiative” when referring to a free and open Indo-Pacific. When Prime Minister Abe first proposed the idea in 2016, he called it the “free and open Indo-Pacific strategy.” The word “strategy” was later changed to “initiative,” but this term has also dropped out of the GOJ’s vocabulary lately. Prime Minister Suga used the phrase a “peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific” last week. Asked by an opposition lawmaker at the Diet yesterday if the GOJ stopped using the word “strategy” out of deference to China, Foreign Minister Motegi underscored that Japan’s “position remains the same” regardless of rhetoric. An unnamed senior MOFA official suggested that the word “strategy” may be considered too “pompous” to enlist more partners.

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