US, Japan pledge to strengthen Quad to build free Indo-Pacific

US, Japan pledge to strengthen Quad to build free Indo-Pacific

Washington: US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga have pledged to work with India and Australia to strengthen the Quad to build a free, open, accessible, diverse and thriving Indo-Pacific, as the two leaders discussed the impact of China's actions on peace and prosperity in the region.

The two leaders met at the White House on Friday in Biden's first face-to-face talks with a foreign leader as president.

"Together, we will continue to work with allies and partners, including with Australia and India through the Quad, which has never been stronger, to build the free, open, accessible, diverse, and thriving Indo-Pacific we all seek, said the two leaders in a joint statement issued after their maiden in-person meeting.

Quad is the grouping of India, the US, Japan and Australia.

We support ASEAN's unity and centrality in the Indo-Pacific, as well as the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. We also concurred that trilateral cooperation with the Republic of Korea is essential to our shared security and prosperity.

Announcing the launch of the US-Japan global partnership for a new era", the joint statement said the United States and Japan renew an alliance that has become a cornerstone of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world. "An ocean separates our countries, but commitments to universal values and common principles, including freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, international law, multilateralism, and a free and fair economic order, unite us," they said.

Together we pledge to demonstrate that free and democratic nations, working together, are able to address the global threats from COVID-19 and climate change while resisting challenges to the free and open rules-based international order. Through this new era of friendship between the United States and Japan, each of our democracies will grow stronger still, it said.

The US-Japan alliance, the statement said is unwavering, and they are more prepared than ever to address regional challenges. Our alliance advances a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific based on our commitment to universal values and common principles, and the promotion of inclusive economic prosperity, it said.

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