Asean is at the heart of Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy: Foreign Minister Kono

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono speaks to The Straits Times' Japan Correspondent Walter Sim in an interview ahead of his visit to Singapore to attend meetings with his counterparts from Asean and its regional partners.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono speaks to The Straits Times' Japan Correspondent Walter Sim in an interview ahead of his visit to Singapore to attend meetings with his counterparts from Asean and its regional partners.PHOTO: INTERTELEMEDIA TOKYO

TOKYO - Asean is at the heart of Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy that seeks to promote rule of law at sea and build high quality infrastructure in areas across the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has said.

Speaking to The Straits Times in an exclusive interview on Thursday (July 26), ahead of a visit to Singapore next week for meetings with his counterparts from Asean and its regional partners, Mr Kono said the strategy was not intended to compete with China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or South Korea's New Southern Policy.

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