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The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States, Australia and India affirmed Tuesday they will step up coordination to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific, taking aim at what Washington called China’s “exploitation, corruption and coercion” of smaller states in the region.

The four major Indo-Pacific democracies, known as the “Quad,” called on other countries to join the initiative, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said after a meeting in Tokyo with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

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