Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is reportedly considering holding four-party talks with South Korea, Australia and New Zealand in time for NATO to be held in Spain at the end of this month.
According to Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun on the 20th, the meeting that Prime Minister Kishida intends to promote has the purpose of pursuing a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ with the four Asia-Pacific partners in mind in keeping China in check.
The NATO summit will be attended by President Yoon Seok-yeol, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanage, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Yomiuri predicted that if this summit was held, the leaders of the four countries would unite and announce their intention to oppose China’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas.
In addition, there is a possibility that China will also discuss support measures for Pacific island countries that China is trying to expand its influence on, and discuss ways to increase Asia’s interest in NATO countries that are focusing on responding to Ukraine’s situation.
The media predicted that if the summit of the four countries was realized, it could serve as another framework to keep China in check following the Quad formed by the United States, Japan, India and Australia.
Meanwhile, it is known that the Japanese government has decided to postpone the official Korea-Japan summit in line with the NATO summit. Yomiuri told a senior Japanese government official that an environment for dialogue was not created because there was no response from the South Korean side to resolve the issue of forced labor during the Japanese colonial period.
However, there is a possibility that the two leaders will hold brief informal talks or face-to-face conversations. Prime Minister Kishida said at a press conference on the 15th that “Korea-Japan relations, which are in a very difficult situation, cannot be neglected.”
(Seoul = News 1)