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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida spoke by phone with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, on Friday, with the two agreeing to work together to realize a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” region, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

The leaders affirmed cooperation with the other members of the “Quad,” Australia and the United States, the ministry said, and voiced “strong opposition to any economic coercion and any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force” in a veiled reference to China’s growing maritime assertiveness.

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