NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be on two-day a visit to Japan from October 6 where he will participate in an informal meeting of the Quad, a grouping consisting of India, Japan, Australia and US.
The visit comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with his new Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga where the leaders held discussions on strengthening ties and also amid the tension between India and China.
China’s aggressive posturing in the South China Sea has been a matter of concern for the Indo-Pacific region and Quad is perceived to be a grouping formed to keep growing Chinese influence in check.
“The Foreign Ministers shall discuss the post-Covid 19 international order and the need for a coordinated response to the various challenges emerging from the pandemic. They will also discuss regional issues and collectively affirm the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. The External Affairs Minister will also hold bilateral consultations with the Foreign Ministers of Australia and the US during his visit to Japan,” the MEA said.
"During the visit, the External Affairs Minister will also participate in the second India-Australia-Japan-USA ministerial meeting on October 6 in which the foreign ministers of the respective countries will participate," it also said.
It said the ministers will collectively affirm the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
The second meeting of the Quadrilateral coalition or Quad comes in the backdrop of growing global concerns over China's military muscle flexing in the Indo-Pacific region.
The MEA said Jaishankar will also hold bilateral consultations with the foreign ministers of Australia and the US during the visit to Japan.
It said the foreign ministers will discuss the post-COVID-19 international order and the need for a coordinated response to the various challenges emerging from the pandemic.
On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga held a telephonic conversation during which they discussed ways to deepen cooperation for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Senior officials of the Quad member nations also held a virtual meeting last week focusing on ways to promote peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
In November 2017, the four countries gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the "Quad" to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
The first meeting of foreign ministers of the four countries under the 'Quad' framework had taken place in New York in September 2019.
India is also expanding bilateral cooperation with Japan, the US and Australia in the Indo-Pacific region.
On its part, the US has been pushing for a greater role for India in the Indo-Pacific which is seen by many countries as an effort to contain China's growing clout in the region.
In their bilateral talks, Jaishankar and Motegi are expected to prepare ground for the annual India-Japan summit later this year.
EAM, Bangla minister meet on water sharing
EAM S Jaishankar and his Bangladeshi counterpart AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday held a Joint Consultative Commi-ssion meeting and reiterated their commitment to finali-sation of Interim Agreement for sharing of Teesta waters.
They also underscored the need for early conclusion of Framework of Interim Agreement on sharing of waters of six other joint rivers, Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudhkumar.
(With PTI Inputs)