Indo-Pacific Current Affairs
The 9th India-Japan-US trilateral meeting was held in New Delhi and was represented by senior diplomats by three countries. It held consultations on regional and global issues of mutual interest and focussed on connectivity, counter-terrorism and other regional and global issues of common concern.
The trilateral countries agreed to continue to collaborate to promote increased connectivity in Indo-Pacific. They also agreed to remain engaged and strengthen cooperation in support for free, open, prosperous, peaceful and inclusive Indo-Pacific region through partnership with countries in region.
They also explored practical steps to enhance cooperation in areas of connectivity and infrastructure development, counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, maritime security, maritime domain awareness and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA-DR). The trilateral emphasised on importance of keeping the sea lanes open, over India’s concern about maintaining freedom of navigation in South China Sea and western Pacific Ocean.
The India-Japan-US trilateral was launched in December 2011 when Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State. For first several rounds, the trilateral was held at director or assistant secretary level. It was elevated to ministerial level in 2015. The inaugural ministerial trilateral was held in September 2015 in New York on sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Session. It was hosted by then US Secretary of State John Kerry. It was also represented by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. The last ministerial dialogue was also held in New York, US in September 2017.
The 4th India-Australia-Japan Trilateral Dialogue was hosted by India in New Delhi. It was hosted by India’s Foreign Secretary Dr. S. Jaishankar, Australia’s Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Frances Adamson and Japan’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Shinsuke J. Sugiyama
The three sides highlighted the growing convergence of their respective countries’ interests in Indo-Pacific region. They underscored their shared commitment to peace, democracy, economic growth and rules-based order in region. They also underscored their support for ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) centrality in political and security architecture of Indo-Pacific region.
The three sides also stressed need for greater collaboration on maritime security and domain awareness and disaster response capabilities. They also renewed their resolve to fight scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed need for enhanced cooperation on counterterrorism.
They also deliberated on strengthening regional connectivity as well. They welcomed regular meetings of this important dialogue mechanism. The Japanese Vice Minister has proposed to host the next round of the dialogue in Tokyo, capital city of Japan.