G7 Ministers in Japan Reiterate Cooperation with India in Indo-Pacific
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Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations on Tuesday reiterated the importance of a "free and open Indo-Pacific" and cooperating with India as well as reaffirmed their commitment to promoting cooperation in line with the ASEAN outlook on the Indo-Pacific.
The comments mark the culmination of a three-day long meeting that were held in Karuizawa, Nagano in central Japan and comes ahead of the G7 leaders' summit to be held in Hiroshima this May.
"We reiterate the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is inclusive, prosperous, secure, based on the rule of law, and that protects shared principles including sovereignty, territorial integrity and peaceful resolution of disputes, fundamental freedoms and human rights," the joint comminique stated.
"We reaffirm individual initiatives of the G7 members and welcome those of our partners to enhance their engagement with the region. We underscore our commitment to further strengthening our 3 coordination among the G7 on the region, to working with regional partners, including ASEAN and its member states," it read. The G-7 ministers said they reaffirmed their unwavering support for ASEAN centrality and unity and our commitment to promoting cooperation in line with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.
The ministers also reaffirmed their partnership with Pacific Island countries and reiterate the importance of supporting their priorities and needs, in accordance with the Pacific Islands Forum's 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, including through the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in 2024.
"We welcome and further encourage efforts made by the private sector, universities and think tanks, which contribute to realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific," they said.
On April 17, the second day of the G-7 foreign ministers' meeting, Japan's foreign minister Hayashi Yoshimasa, hosted the "Indo-Pacific" session which he explained his country's views "Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)" and the New Plan for a FOIP. The G7 Foreign Ministers expressed their support, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
Hayashi also stated that, with the emerging and developing countries known as the "Global South" facing a variety of issues, the G7 intends to work together with them to tackle these issues.
"Furthermore, in addition to underscoring the importance of cooperating with India, the G7 Foreign Ministers shared the view to increase engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, including ASEAN and the Pacific Island countries, and, as part of the G7 framework, to regularize discussions and strengthen cooperation in relation to the Indo-Pacific," the statement by Japanese ministry of foreign affairs read.
Japan's PM Fumio Kishida had unveiled the Japanese plan for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) while delivering a speech entitled "The Future of the Indo-Pacific-Japan's New Plan for a 'Free and Open Indo-Pacific-Together with India, as an Indispensable Partner" at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) in New Delhi on March 20 this year. He had said "India is an indispensable partner" to achieve the objectives of FOIP.
Meanwhile, at the G-7 ministers' meeting in Karuizawa, regarding Southeast Asia, Japanese foreign minister Hayashi stated the need for the G7 to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN in the medium and long term, while supporting ASEAN centrality and unity, and the importance of cooperating with ASEAN in line with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
The G7 Foreign Ministers meeting was presided by Yoshimasa and attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Candian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, Italy's Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, and Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Enrique Mora.