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EXCLUSIVE: Japan eyes defense talks with Pacific isle nations

  • August 26, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 4:34 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Aug. 26 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Defense Ministry is considering hosting an online meeting of the defense ministers of Japan and Pacific island countries in early September at the earliest, Jiji Press learned Thursday.

 

The meeting is apparently intended to keep China in check at a time when Beijing is increasing its presence in the Pacific region.

 

Japan initially planned to hold such a meeting in April last year, but the plan was canceled due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

 

Participants in the upcoming meeting will include Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, his counterparts in Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Tonga, and officials from the United States and Australia, informed sources said.

 

It will be the first time for the ministry to host a multilateral ministerial meeting, the sources added.

 

In the meeting, Japan aims to reaffirm cooperation to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Also planned are discussions on climate change, a big issue for island nations, and the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Japan is considering issuing a joint statement to wrap up the meeting, the sources said.

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