External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will visit Tokyo from October 6 to October 7, 2020, for bilateral consultations with the Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, an official statement said here on Tuesday. The two ministers are expected to discuss bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest. According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), during the visit, the External Affairs Minister will also participate in the Second India-Australia-Japan-USA Ministerial Meeting on October 6, 2020, in which the foreign ministers of the respective countries will participate.
The statement said the foreign ministers shall discuss the post-COVID-19 international order and the need for a coordinated response to the various challenges emerging from the pandemic. They will also discuss regional issues and collectively affirm the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. External Affairs Minister will also hold bilateral consultations with the foreign ministers of Australia and the US during his visit to Japan.
India, Japan, Australia and the US have been coordinating a joint approach on “free, open, prosperous and inclusive” Indo-Pacific region, based on shared values and principles and respect for international law. This grouping is seen as a response to China’s growing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region. In the agenda of the foreign ministers of the four-member nations of the ‘Quad’ talks are maritime security, counter-terrorism, connectivity and infrastructure development with the objective of promoting peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
The talks between representatives of the democracies referred as Quad will be the first ministerial-level multiparty conference hosted by Tokyo since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and following their meeting in New York in September last year on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The Quad meeting is expected to be focussed on strategic and security challenges in the region and joint strategy is also to be discussed, although security and strategy will be the key focus.
The meeting may also give an opportunity to the like-minded countries to discuss and improvise on global supply chains. Yesterday Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised that over-dependence on a single source is risky for the global supply chain. Japan and India had recently signed a military pact enabling them to exchange supplies and logistical support. Collaboration in coronavirus vaccine development and response to COVID-19 are also expected to be discussed in the meet. (ANI)