Japan agreed with Singapore and Malaysia on Wednesday to work together to address issues related to a new U.S.-led Indo-Pacific economic framework, an initiative apparently intended to counter China's growing influence in the region.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi met separately with his Singaporean and Malaysian counterparts in Tokyo and vowed to strengthen bilateral ties toward a "free and open Indo-Pacific," a vision advocated by Tokyo and Washington to counter Beijing's military clout, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The meetings came after U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday announced the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity to tackle new challenges ranging from setting standards for the digital economy, securing supply chains and promoting major investments for clean energy transition.