Pompeo to make Japan trip for Indo-Pacific ‘Quad’ meeting in show of unity to China

Pompeo to make Japan trip for Indo-Pacific ‘Quad’ meeting in show of unity to China

  • Pompeo, Japan’s Toshimitsu Motegi, Australia’s Marise Payne and India’s Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will meet in Tokyo
  • The Indo-Pacific bloc, seen as a counter to China’s influence in the region, will discuss the coronavirus pandemic and security issues

Japan will host a meeting next week of the foreign ministers of four of the Indo-Pacific region’s biggest democracies, in the so-called Quad group seen as a counter to China’s influence in the region.

The October 6 forum in Tokyo will bring together UN Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and India’s Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to discuss issues including the coronavirus pandemic and the regional situation, Motegi told a news conference on Tuesday.

US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus confirmed the details of Pomeo’s trip on Tuesday. It will be Pompeo’s first trip to Japan since Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took office on September 16 after his predecessor Shinzo Abe stepped down due to a chronic illness.

The meeting is set to be one of the highest-profile diplomatic gatherings for the Trump administration before the US presidential election, where policy toward Beijing has become a major campaign issue.

It also comes as China and India try to defuse tensions on their disputed Himalayan border, after a military stand-off led to gunshots being fired over the frontier for the first time since 1975.