US-Japan 2+2 dialogue: Focus on increasing ties with India, Australia, South Korea

New Delhi: As part of a shared vision for Indo-Pacific, US and Japan have agreed to grow ties with India, along with countries like Australia, South Korea.

Speaking at the US-Japan 2+2 dialogue in Washington, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said, “The United States and Japan will continue to advance trilateral and multilateral cooperation with other regional partners, notably the Republic of Korea, Australia, India, and Southeast Asian countries.”

The US-Japan 2+2 dialogue includes US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting US Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, and Japanese Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya.

The focus of the statements was to increase engagement in the Indo-Pacific region.

While Japanese Defence minister Iwaya said his country will “make efforts to realize free and open Indo-Pacific”, Japanese foreign minister said, “will make efforts to realize free and open Indo-Pacific”. Acting US Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan said, 2+2 dialogue is a “testament to our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”.

India, Japan, Australia, the US have been engaging on the Indo-Pacific. The US in 2018 changed the name of its largest naval commands–the Pacific command– to Indo-Pacific Command to give a boost to the growing concept while India has set up a separate Indo-Pacific desk in its ministry of external affairs. Washington, along with Canberra has announced a number of the infrastructure project in the region. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, describing India’s vision for Indo-Pacific at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore in 2018 said, for New Delhi, the concept stands for “Inclusiveness, openness & ASEAN centrality”. ASEAN, The IORA groupings are currently discussing the concept.