As I previewed earlier this week, the Australian and Japanese foreign ministers, the Indian external affairs minister, and the U.S. secretary of state met in Tokyo on October 6 for the second ministerial of the Quadrilateral, or “Quad.” My previous post included charts explaining the evolution and the activities of the Quad ahead of the ministerial. Now that the meeting has taken place, let’s take a look at the outcomes, including what emerged from it and what didn’t.
While the Quad ministers did not release a joint statement, Australia, India, Japan, and the U.S. did issue readouts. They provide a sense of the agenda, as well as where there is — and is not — overlap. The separate readouts also give some additional details. For instance, the Japanese one noted that North Korea and the South China Sea came up for discussion; the Australian and Indian ones mentioned the delivery of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines; and Canberra’s document highlighted the subject of critical minerals.
In their readouts as well as their opening statements, each Quad country also outlined its vision of the kind of Indo-Pacific it would like to see. All four also emphasized the importance of working with other like-minded partners (even beyond the Association for Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN). Japan mentioned European partners, in particular. As expected, no announcement was made about including Australia in the U.S.-India-Japan MALABAR maritime exercise, but Indian official sources indicated that an announcement would be made before the exercise in November.