U.S. Eyeing Online Summit with Japan, Australia, India

Reuters file photo
Japan and U.S flags

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has approached Japan, Australia and India about holding a four-nation online summit, according to sources related to Japan-U.S. diplomacy.

The goal of the meeting is to affirm the countries’ cooperation to realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific” vision in light of China’s attempts to change the status quo in the region by force.

It would be the first summit of the leaders of Japan, the United States, Australia and India if the meeting takes place.

The countries’ foreign ministers met for the first time in New York in September 2019 and held a second meeting in Tokyo in October to bolster cooperation. The countries are aiming to further strengthen ties by upgrading the participants from foreign ministers to leaders.

To counter China, the Biden administration is attaching importance to the four-nation framework that shares basic values such as freedom and democracy.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Biden also agreed to promote cooperation among the four countries in telephone talks on Jan. 28.

The four leaders are also expected to discuss human rights issues in China, including Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, as well as measures against the novel coronavirus.