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International relations

Japan's Suga eyes Philippines and India visit in April-May

Prime Minister to reaffirm cooperation with China's maritime presence in mind

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will decide on a visit to the Philippines and India after weighing the situation with the coronavirus pandemic.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is considering trips to India and the Philippines during Japan's spring holidays, beginning at the end of April, Nikkei has learned.

Suga, who would be meeting India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in person for the first time, hopes to reaffirm cooperation with the two countries, bearing in mind China's growing maritime presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tokyo will make a final decision on the visits after assessing the COVID-19 infection situation.

One major agenda item will be expanding cooperation on security and infrastructure building. Japan, which has stressed the importance of the Quad framework together with the U.S., Australia and India, aims to solidify that framework with India during the meeting.

The Philippines is in a dispute with China over incursions by Chinese fishing boats into its waters. Japan aims to keep Beijing in check by strengthening its ties with the two countries, as it also has problems over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

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