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Japan to propose dialogue with US, India and Australia

Foreign Minister Kono sees Japan playing key freedom of navigation role

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told The Nikkei he hopes to have China and Russia work together more closely with Japan, the U.S. and South Korea on the North Korean threat.

TOKYO -- Japan will propose a top-level dialogue with the U.S., India and Australia, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told The Nikkei on Wednesday. The idea is for the leaders of the four nations to promote free trade and defense cooperation across a stretch of ocean from the South China Sea, across the Indian Ocean and all the way to Africa.

The proposition would be aimed at counteracting China's aggressive maritime expansion under its Belt and Road initiative. China's plans would cement a sphere of influence for Beijing well beyond Asia.

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