Japan’s Foreign Minister visits India for Quad dialog after skipping G20 meet

Tokyo, Mar 2 (EFE).- Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi headed to India Thursday in order to attend the Quad dialog, to be held in New Delhi on Friday, after skipping the ongoing G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in the South Asian country.

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, popularly known as the Quad, comprises India, the United States, Japan and Australia.

Hayashi will attend the Quad along with foreign ministers of the other three member nations. He opted against attending the G20 meeting due to his national political obligations, a decision that triggered criticism in Japan.

The Quad dialog will be focused on reasserting the four members’ commitment towards a rules-based international order, and defending a free and open Indo-Pacific – the US and Japan’s strategy to counter China’s geopolitical rise in the region – according to Japanese diplomatic sources.

Instead of Hayashi, Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Kenji Yamada is representing the country in the ongoing G20 Summit, being held between Mar. 1 and Mar. 3, marking the first meeting of the forum since 2017 to be missed by a Japanese foreign minister.

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has backed Hayashi’s decision to stay back and take part in budget discussions in the parliament, considered very important for to the national political agenda, although experts and some opposition voices have questioned his absence from G20 summit at a time of global tensions, especially when Tokyo is presiding over the G7.

The foreign minister’s absence will have an “incalculable” negative impact on Japan-India relations and Japan’s ability to coordinate world politics, tweeted Ken Jimbo, professor at Keio University specializing in international security and foreign policy.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and friction between the US and China grab a large part of the summit’s attention, and the division of the world in blocs due to these issues makes it harder for the G20 to arrive at a consensus during the meeting. EFE


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