Quad countries discuss ocean security

Report on regional stability launched

Updated - August 25, 2018 06:28 pm IST

Published - August 22, 2018 10:37 pm IST - New Delhi

Hideki Asari

Hideki Asari

The Quad grouping is one of the many avenues for interaction among India, Australia, Japan and the US and should not be seen in an exclusive context, a senior Japanese diplomat said on Wednesday.

“We should not really regard Quad in any competitive or in an exclusive context. This four-country meeting is an important modality. There are various modalities where India, Australia, Japan and the US interact, including on a bilateral and trilateral basis…,” said Hideki Asari, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan.

He was speaking at the launch of a report on the policy recommendations on Indian Ocean security by four think tanks from the Quad countries at the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF).

The other think tanks which include Australia National University, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan and Sasakawa Peace Foundation, USA, along with VIF formed the Quadripartite Commission on Indian Ocean Regional Security, which put out a series of 20 policy recommendations for stability in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The report calls for maintaining the momentum of high-level consultations among the Quad countries with the aim of “free and open Info-Pacific region” and progressively move it to a political level.

In this regard, Mr. Asari said that Japan’s Indo-Pacific policy by definition is open and inclusive, and added, “All four countries have used the word inclusive and so all are in agreement of the inclusiveness of the Indo-Pacific.”

“Australia, Japan, India and the US should work with countries in the IOR to help maintain independent security and economic policies by supporting high-quality alternatives to unilateral Chinese investments and political alignment with Chinese regional objectives,” one of the recommendations reads.

Another recommendation is that the four countries should work to oppose “the establishment of permanent Chinese military bases” in the IOR. This should include demonstrating to China that its security needs can be met “through cooperation and consultation with other nations” and without the recourse to a “disruptive unilateral military presence.”

Calling the four countries to enhance sea land defence capabilities, the report stresses that naval fleets should evolve increasingly long range operations. “This may require consideration in Japan of new options such as nuclear propulsion for its submarines,” the report added.

In 2017, on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Manila, the Quad countries held discussions on reviving the decade-old grouping which is seen by China as an attempt to contain it.

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