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Japan, India foreign ministers affirm Quad cooperation

Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi, attend a press conference in Tokyo, on Nov. 22, 2021. (Charly Triballeau/Pool Photo via AP)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The foreign ministers of Japan and India held phone talks on Monday and affirmed their resolve to work with the other members of the "Quad" -- the United States and Australia -- to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

    The call between Yoshimasa Hayashi and Subrahmanyam Jaishankar came as the group has stepped up cooperation to counter China's growing military and economic clout.

    Hayashi and Jaishankar shared their "strong opposition to unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China seas and economic coercion," Japan's Foreign Ministry said without explicitly naming Beijing.

    During the roughly 20-minute call, they agreed on the importance of resuming reciprocal visits by their leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida traveling to India at an "appropriate time" and arranging two-plus-two security talks among foreign and defense ministers, the ministry said.

    Hayashi, who was appointed by Kishida earlier this month, and Jaishankar also discussed North Korea's recent missile tests and situations in Myanmar and Afghanistan.

    Having held joint military exercises and met at the ministerial level in recent years, the Quad held its first in-person leaders' summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington in September.

    In a joint statement, they said they are committed to "promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond."

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