Japan for increasing Quad; France may very well be first addition

Sandeep Dikshit
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 6

Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu said the Quad grouping could be expanded to include countries from Europe and South East Asia.

“If the countries can share these value and rules, I think we can expand the framework. That is important,” he commented at a press conference today when asked about the possibility of the four-member grouping adding more members.

“Japan is proposing the free and open Indo-Pacific, based on freedom of navigation and rule of law and freedom. Like-minded countries can participate in this vision,” he said.

“This time it is the Quad but there are other countries with same shared values. France and Germany are interested in the Indo-Pacific and are strengthening their commitment to this vision I am sure of basic values and shared rules,” he added.

The foreign minister hinted that France could be a promising candidate.

“France is a European country and has territory in other regions such as East Africa and the Indian Ocean,” he observed.

Earlier Motegi held a 70-minute conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during which they reviewed the situation in East China Sea and South China Sea besides North Korea.

Earlier in the day, new Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide received a courtesy call from the three overseas foreign ministers—Marise Payne from Australia, S. Jaishankar and Pompeo—who attended the Japan-Australia-India-US Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

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