All TV networks highlighted the opening of the Quad leaders’ meeting at the Kantei this morning, saying that the leaders of the United States, Japan, Australia, and India exchanged views on a host of regional and international challenges, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China’s maritime advancement, North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, climate change, and the coronavirus pandemic. In his opening remarks as the host of the second in-person Quad summit, Prime Minister Kishida described the Russian aggression as a grave challenge to the rules-based international order that must not be repeated in the Indo-Pacific region. “It is extremely significant for the leaders of the four member states to gather and demonstrate to the international community our quadrilateral solidary and strong commitment to the shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said.
President Biden said that the United States will continue to be “a strong, steady and enduring partner in the Indo-Pacific,” while newly elected Australian Prime Minister Albanese was quoted as saying: “We have had a change of government in Australia. But Australia’s commitment to the Quad has not changed and will not change.” His Indian counterpart Modi reportedly praised the Quad partnership for making the Indo-Pacific “free, open, and inclusive.”
The broadcasters said the four leaders plan to release a joint statement upon completion of the session playing up their mutual commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, strong support for freedom, the rule of law, and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity in Asia and elsewhere. With China’s intense maritime advancement in mind, the four partners will vow to counter challenges to the rules-based maritime order and reiterate their respect for international law. The document will also introduce a range of regional cooperative programs they are planning to engage in, such as the launch of a mechanism to combat global warming and the provision of data gathered by the four members’ space satellites.
An NHK reporter said that while strongly condemning the Russian aggression against Ukraine, President Biden underscored that Putin’s illegal and unjustifiable war has reinforced his resolve to keep engaging in the Indo-Pacific region even more strongly. The journalist said that with this statement, the U.S. leader tried to address rising concerns among regional powers that Washington’s focus on East Asia may weaken as a result of its preoccupation with the war in Ukraine and demonstrated his plan to cooperate with the three other Quad members and other regional countries to deepen partnership with the aim of pushing back against China’s rise.