All national dailies reported on an online 2+2 meeting held on Tuesday between the foreign and defense ministers of Japan and Germany. The ministers agreed on their nations’ security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and shared serious concern over the situation in Hong Kong and human rights violations in Xinjiang. Germany is the third European country to establish a 2+2 framework with Japan after the UK and France.
Nikkei wrote that Germany signaled its growing interest in the Indo-Pacific through the 2+2 meeting with Japan, speculating that the Biden administration’s strategy of seeking greater European involvement in the region to keep China in check and concern that Washington on its own cannot adequately respond to China’s growing military presence in the region were behind the German move. Yomiuri conjectured that Germany expressed a clear position of attaching importance to the Indo-Pacific, a shift from its previous policy of developing close ties with China, in view of Chinese actions in the South China Sea and Hong Kong.