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New configurations in Asian geopolitics are emerging thick and fast. The month of June saw the initiative of a new trilateral group involving India, Japan and Australia when the Indian foreign secretary met his Australian counterpart and a Japanese vice foreign minister. Japan will also take part in bilateral the annual India-U.S. Malabar exercise slated to be held over the next few months. Though Japan has participated in this exercise before, this will be only the second time for the Self-Defense Forces to take part when it is being conducted in the strategically critical Indian Ocean.

There is a growing convergence in the region that the strategic framework of the Indo-Pacific region is the best way forward to manage the rapidly shifting contours of Asia. Proposed first by Japan and adopted with enthusiasm by Australia under the Tony Abbott government, in particular, the framework has gained considerable currency with the United States now increasingly articulating the need for it.

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