Japanese Prime Minister to detail his vision for a secure Indo-Pacific at Singapore forum

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to present his country’s vision for a more secure Indo-Pacific region through maritime cooperation with 20 or more nations when he speaks at the Shangri-La Security Dialogue Friday in Singapore, government sources said.

Delivering a keynote speech at the three-day forum attended by defense ministers, officials and experts, the prime minister is also expected to announce plans to promote a “free and open Indo-Pacific” in a security environment. which deteriorated amid the Russian invasion. the increased assertiveness of Ukraine and China.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida meets the press in Katsurao, a village in northeast Japan, June 5, 2022. (Kyodo)

The annual security forum has been canceled for each of the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kishida will be the first Japanese leader in eight years to deliver a speech there. The most recent was former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who spoke at the 2014 edition.

In his speech, Kishida is expected to stress the need to build an international order based on dialogue, seeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an example of the use of force to change the status quo in flagrant violation of law. international.

Noting that the status quo has already been forcibly changed in the East and South China Seas, Kishida is expected to convey his plan to assist Indo-Pacific nations by providing patrol boats and building maritime transport infrastructure while investing in the necessary human resources.

He is set to call for efforts to prevent a crisis similar to that of Ukraine from occurring in the Indo-Pacific and to stress the importance of peace and stability in the Strait of Taiwan.

Kishida has already announced that he will fundamentally strengthen Japan’s defense capabilities within five years and significantly increase its defense budget for this purpose, and he is also likely to share the plan in the speech.

Amid nuclear threats from Russia and nuclear expansion from China, Kishida plans to say that Japan will pursue realistic efforts toward denuclearization based on its relationship of trust with the United States. He will also call for transparency regarding the capabilities of nations’ nuclear forces.

On the economic security front, Japan will work with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and others to support at least 100 projects to strengthen supply chains over the next five coming years.

The gathering, sponsored annually by the British think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies, has been held in Singapore since 2002 as a platform for countries including the United States and China to discuss key security challenges. In the region.

While in Singapore, Kishida is expected to hold talks with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.


Related coverage:

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Japanese PM Kishida to visit Singapore for Shangri-La security dialogue

Major security forum in Singapore canceled due to COVID-19


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