• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is planning visits to India and the Philippines from late April through early May, government sources said Wednesday, with the envisaged trips subject to changes in view of the coronavirus situation.

With the visits, Japan seeks to reaffirm its cooperation with the countries over its vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region as China increases its maritime assertiveness.

Suga has underscored the significance of the collaboration with the United States, Australia and India — collectively known as the Quad — which is widely seen as a counterweight to China’s growing clout. By meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Suga apparently seeks to further solidify the framework.

Suga is scheduled to visit the United States to hold talks with President Joe Biden on April 16. Suga already met with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in November in Tokyo.

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