Japan and diplomacy with China: Australia, India, Japan, and America to meet

Japan and diplomacy with China: Australia, India, Japan, and America to meet

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Miniter Yoshihide Suga is the new leader of Japan. Thus, the meeting between senior officials from America, Australia, India, and Japan in Tokyo early next month will be analyzed carefully.

It is known that tensions between America and China – and China and India – are far from cordial. Indeed, in the area of trade and geopolitics, the political elites in America and China are at loggerheads. Similarly, recent tensions in disputed border areas between China and India resulted in deaths.

However, for Japan, the two most significant regional powers are China and the Russian Federation. Hence, Suga should focus on Japan being a bridge between nations that are in dispute. After all, it isn’t in the interest of Japan to antagonize China or the Russian Federation.

Thus, Japan’s main focus should be on strengthening ties with America, Australia, and India – and nations throughout the Mekong Delta. At the same time, Japan should bolster relations between democratic nations in the Asia Pacific.

Yet, this should be done diplomatically and not getting involved in any rhetoric that is espoused in America, China, or India. Yes, support allies when it is based on genuine factors and has geopolitical importance. However, refrain from any pettiness or propaganda wars emanating in America, China, and India.

Japan can rightly claim to be concerned about human rights issues in Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang. Yet this should be done through diplomatic channels. After all, these concerns are China’s internal problems and are outside the more important issues of open sea-lanes throughout the South China Sea and the Asia Pacific.

It is known that America, Australia, India, and Japan all support a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” Of course, other nations equally support this and fear any possible encroachment by China. Therefore, Japan should focus on this angle and not any expansive deeds or actions against China.

If so, political elites in Beijing and Tokyo will understand that both sides seek to strengthen their respective hands. However, this will be based on the geopolitical concerns of each nation – rather than becoming involved in a bloc that is aimed at either nation.

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