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The old but new geographical term “Indo-Pacific” is now increasingly used to replace “Asia-Pacific.” In August 2016, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled his regional vision called the “free and open Indo-Pacific strategy.” U.S. President Donald Trump echoed the phrase “free and open Indo-Pacific” during his first Asia tour in November and in his administration’s national security strategy released in December.

Australia, which referred to the Indo-Pacific in its 2013 defense white paper, again cited the phrase in its 2017 foreign policy white paper. India’s strategic community also understands the geostrategic importance of the Indo-Pacific to their country. In November, senior diplomats from Japan, Australia, India and the United States met in Manila and agreed to ensure a free and open international order in the Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law.

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