NEW DELHI: India, Australia and Japan today stressed on a rule-based order in the Indo-Pacific and decided to enhance cooperation in the area of maritime security, amidst increasing Chinese assertiveness in the region.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar hosted the 4th India- Australia-Japan Trilateral Dialogue and held talks with Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary Frances Adamson and Japanese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Shinsuke J Sugiyama, the external affairs ministry said.
During the talks, the three sides underscored their support for the centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the political and security architecture of the Indo-Pacific region.
The meeting of the top diplomats of the three countries comes less than a month after leaders from India, the US, Australia and Japan held the first 'Quad' talks in Manila on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.
The Quad is viewed by many countries as a coalition to counter China in the region that has witnessed its assertiveness over maritime territorial claims especially in the South China Sea and East China Sea.
"The three sides highlighted the growing convergence of their respective countries interests in the Indo-Pacific region and underscored their shared commitment to peace, democracy, economic growth and a rules-based order in the region," a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said.
India holds maritime exercises with Australia and Japan.
In October, the Indian Navy and the Japanese Marine Self Defence Force participated in Passage Exercise (PASSEX).
AUSINDEX 2017 between the navies of India and Ausutrlia was held in June.
They also renewed their resolve to fight "the scourge of terrorism" in all its forms and manifestations and stressed the need for enhanced cooperation on counter-terrorism, the statement said.
The three sides also deliberated on strengthening regional connectivity.
They welcomed the regular meetings of this important dialogue mechanism.
Japanese minister Sugiyama proposed to host the next round in Tokyo.