Japan welcomed France’s intention, as presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2022, to strengthen the group’s strategic policy, presence and actions in the Indo-Pacific. The two sides also reaffirmed the important role of Southeast Asian nations in the region.
Western countries are seeking to rebalance their relations with China, which is accumulating greater economic and military power and showing a new willingness to resist foreign criticism of its human rights practices.
Earlier this week, US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke with her Japanese and South Korean counterparts on preserving peace in the Taiwan Strait. This prompted China to accuse the United States and Japan of forging confrontational blocs.
White House officials have discussed digital trade deal proposals covering Indo-Pacific economies as the administration seeks ways to verify China’s influence in the region, people familiar with the region told Bloomberg News. the plans earlier this month.
In Saturday’s statement, Japan and France hailed the Tokyo Olympics, which opened on Friday evening, as a symbol of global unity to defeat the coronavirus.
Link to story: Japan and France to strengthen defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific
© 2021 Bloomberg LP