The vision of the Indo-Pacific arena was first proposed by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan in 2016. His successor Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will continue it. Due to his short first tenure, former Prime Minister Abe could not promote the concept deeply and widely, but the concept has found support among other countries in the region.
Thus far, France is the only country out of the 26 member states of the European Union (EU) to formulate an Indo-Pacific strategy. This is partially due to its overseas territories and a significant portion of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) being located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Australia also expressed keen affection for the concept as introduced by ex-Prime Minister Abe. The concept had already been adopted into Australia’s defense strategy as the perimeter to defend Australia’s national interests in trade and in the prevention of refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Rohingya from reaching the Australian mainland. Professor Rory Medcalf is a key advisor to the Australian government on the concept of the Indo-Pacific, and has written two books about it. Prime Minister Scott Morrison also approves of this concept to strengthen Australia’s relationship with Japan as well as India, whose Indo-Pacific strategy comes in the form of the policy of Prime Minister Narendra Modhi to “Act East.”