Indonesia and Japan’s ministers of defence and foreign affairs pledged on Tuesday to tighten their defence cooperation to face an assertive China during their meeting in Tokyo.
“It’s getting hard to take for granted the premises that have been supporting peace and prosperity of the international community. Today, I would like to hold talks to boost our broad-ranging cooperation to higher levels,” Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at the start of the meetings.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has said she has also been in close contact with Motegi to discuss the Myanmar situation COVID-19 responses. Retno has emerged as a regional leader as she works to broker talks with the Myanmar military, which has killed more than 500 protesters since staging a coup on February 1.
This meeting will be followed by the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who warned China over “coercion and aggression” and criticised what it called Beijing’s attempt to bully neighbours with competing interests.