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International relations

Suga walks tightrope between US and China

Prime minister tones down 'free and open Indo-Pacific' language to cast wider net

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stressed Indo-Pacific cooperation while dismissing talk of an "Asian NATO" during his first official trip abroad this month.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- In a speech to parliament this week, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga invoked a foreign policy concept from predecessor Shinzo Abe, but with one subtle difference that hints at the new leader's more balanced approach to ties with the U.S. and China.

Suga said Monday that he would "aim to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific," an idea pushed by both the U.S. and Japan in recent years.

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