Japan, Palau vow to ensure free Indo-Pacific

Courtesy of Japanese Foreign Ministry
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, right, and Palau President Surangel Whipps hold talks in Palau on Sunday

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Palau President Surangel Whipps Sunday agreed to strengthen cooperation to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

During their meeting in Palau, Hayashi expressed concern about the signing of a security treaty between China and the Solomon Islands.

The move could have a considerable impact on regional security, Hayashi told Whipps.

Speaking at a virtual press conference, Hayashi said both Fiji and Palau leaders echoed Japan’s concern about China’s growing regional influence.

During his South Pacific tour, Hayashi met with Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama on Saturday.