politics

Suga planning visits to India, Philippines to counter China's growing clout

29 Comments

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is planning visits to India and the Philippines during the Golden Week holidays from late April, government sources said, as Japan looks to strengthen ties in Asia to counter China's growing clout.

Japan seeks to reaffirm cooperation with the countries over its vision of a "free and open Indo-Pacific" region through the trips, which are subject to changes depending on the coronavirus situation.

The framework known as the Quad -- consisting of Japan, the United States, Australia and India -- has increasingly become the focus of efforts to counter China's growing economic and military influence.

The countries held the Malabar joint naval exercises last November in a show of force, while agreeing in a virtual summit to "meet challenges to the rules-based maritime order" in the South and East China seas, where China has made territorial claims that are fiercely contested by its neighbors.

Suga met with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in November in Tokyo and is slated to visit the United States for talks with President Joe Biden next week, and is apparently seeking to further solidify the framework by meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Japan and India have also strengthened bilateral security ties in recent years, signing a military pact last September allowing them to exchange supplies and logistical support.

Suga and Modi are expected to discuss further tie-ups in outer space and cybersecurity, as well as cooperation on infrastructure projects and other economic issues.

According to the sources, Suga is also slated to meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and they will discuss ways to deepen security and economic cooperation as this year marks the 65th year since the normalization of their diplomatic relations.

© KYODO

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29 Comments
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Which other world leader has been travelling the world when there is a pandemic raging at home? Guess... no, I cannot come up with any either.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

@zoroto,

No, I can't think of one either. Unfortunately we have the most inept 'leader' known to man.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Better hurry up and gather support china is ramping up the game and they are not going to wait around.

I heard Taiwans leader making a statement declaring they will fight to the last day to defend themselves from the CCP

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Suga planning visits to India, Philippines to counter China's growing clout

Instead of worrying about China,s " growing clout" and jetsetting during the pandemic how about sleepy Suga get off his bottom and worry about a proper solution to Japan,s corona response and the myriad of socio- economic problems plaguing this place.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Suga-san, the only world leader with ballz big enough to travel during the pandemic. I really hope the Philippines steps up and takes a harder line against Chinese invasion of its territory.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Oh right, the citizens of Japan have to stay home, while "Dear Leader Lite" gets to travel with his entourage!

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

YubaruToday  05:34 pm JST

Oh right, the citizens of Japan have to stay home, while "Dear Leader Lite" gets to travel with his entourage!

Quite. I imagine some members of his entourage are none too happy about having to travel to two Covid hotspots with him, I certainly wouldn't be.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

his entourage are none too happy about having to travel to two Covid hotspots with him, I certainly wouldn't be.

If you haven't heard, they all got to jump the vaccination line for this trip. So they probably don't mind much.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Good for Japan.

Someone has to lead the way and stand up to the Communist bullies. Hopefully Suga can convince Duturte to stop dealing with China as he has been recently. Beef up their Military to a large degree, take a more consistent Anti-China stance, and the Philippines may be offered entry to QUAD within a decade.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Good on Suga.

China is counting on leaders not traveling anywhere to build up alliances and is upping its thuggery!!!

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Gosh! I bet China is quaking in their boots!

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

While I agree the Japanese government have not handled the pandemic response at all well (they got lucky) that does not mean every other problem has gone away and unfortunately China is the the current long term problem that is getting worse.

Face to face meetings are always preferable in diplomacy, so in the current situation it becomes a balance of risks and benefits whether you go in person or digitally.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Great !!..

Free world against terrorist represive China !!..

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I'm sure China and Russia are terrified by that axis of poverty.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Necessary steps at a time when China is becoming more aggressive in the region. Building more aircraft carriers, submarines, more capabilities to push it's neighbors around.

Remember the peaceful rise promised by China? It's becoming more aggressive with each day.

That's the reason Quad Alliance exist. Why more countries are turning against China.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Xi will be in office far longer than Suga will...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Not a wise move.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

No, I can't think of one either. Unfortunately we have the most inept 'leader' known to man.

How about the Chinese delegation that attended the conference in Alaska last month? Or how about the EU delegation that traveled to Turkey recently where their leader Ms. Van der Leyen was snubbed with no chair offered while men all had chairs? How about the US Secretary of State and US Secretary of Defense recent travels. The French PM has been to Lebanon at least twice during the pandemic. And Mr. Modi visited Bangladesh just last week to celebrate their independence day. You really need to read the news more often I think.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

That's the reason Quad Alliance exist. Why more countries are turning against China

The sad thing about the Quad is that India is very nearly as bad as China regarding the treatment of their ethnic and religious minorities. The Hindu fundamentalists who are the back bone of the BJP are as bigoted and violent as any Arab terrorist group. Mr. Modi has shown no reservations about suppressing minority groups within India. The BJP is almost as disgusting at the CCP.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Like Abe before him, he wants to run with the foxes and hunt with the hares, Japan should start by condeming China for abusing human rights, condem Mynamar for the same, but you sit on the fence, frightened to upset either country, it is shameful.

The west can see that China is closing in on your north and south islands, your knees shake and you applaud western nations for sending warships to show solidarity, but you still refuse to condem them, when they have taken Hokaido and Okinawa, maybe then you will make a noise of a lion rather than the kitten

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Suga planning visits to India, Philippines to counter China's growing clout

What growing clout?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Modi and Duterte? Really??!!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

run with the foxes and hunt with the hares

Mixed metaphor. "Run with the hares and hunt with the foxes" would work. "Hunt with the hounds" is even better (for the alliteration).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bringing them money will only help, if you can bring them more money than the Chinese can. In other words, stay at home, Suga, and spend it here, for your own corona plagued citizens and businesses!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"The sad thing about the Quad is that India is very nearly as bad as China regarding the treatment of their ethnic and religious minorities. The Hindu fundamentalists who are the back bone of the BJP are as bigoted and violent as any Arab terrorist group. Mr. Modi has shown no reservations about suppressing minority groups within India. The BJP is almost as disgusting at the CCP."

The difference is that India's constitutional safeguards and democratic traditions prevent any one person from turning into a full fledged despot no matter how committed his support base is or how much he tries to undermine the institutional checks on his power. Even Indira Gandhi was chucked out of power when she tried to undermine India's democracy. And yes, Hindu fundamentalists are bigoted but their enmity is with the religious minorities within the country whom they regard as 'converts', not with external ideologies. I have personally seen their hypocrisy since they rant against the Muslims and Christians in India but are the first ones to migrate happily to Christian majority western nations or the oil rich Gulf countries if the opportunity arises.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Bringing them money will only help, if you can bring them more money than the Chinese can."

Chinese investment in India is minuscule in comparison to Japanese investment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The difference is that India's constitutional safeguards and democratic traditions prevent any one person from turning into a full fledged despot no matter how committed his support base is or how much he tries to undermine the institutional checks on his power. 

It sounds nice but I am not convinced that is true of India any longer. I think Mr. Modi has already succeeded in subverting most civil rights protections in India and the courts have become the BJPs rubber stamp.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"I think Mr. Modi has already succeeded in subverting most civil rights protections in India and the courts have become the BJPs rubber stamp."

The US Supreme Court has become conservative in recent years. No one would suggest that the courts are now Republican rubber stamps. Yes, the court rulings in India in recent years have been a disappointment in that they have not really challenged some of the excessive legislation's passed by BJP, but India’s courts enjoy a rare institutional safeguard - the courts themselves exercise almost complete control over the formal processes by which judges are appointed to the higher bench.

Moreover, this is a passing phase. There is no one on the other side of the political spectrum who has the credibility and popularity to challenge Modi as of now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The US Supreme Court has become conservative in recent years. No one would suggest that the courts are now Republican rubber stamps.

I would.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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