Japan’s own “pivot” to East Asia has been on full display over the last two months as Tokyo’s efforts to lay the foundation for a more proactive approach to countering Beijing’s growing maritime assertiveness begin to bear fruit.

The flurry of recent activity in the region by Japan comes ahead of a Group of Seven leaders’ summit in Mie Prefecture next month and a verdict by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Philippine case against China’s “nine-dash line” claims to much of the disputed South China Sea.

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