Japan's Foreign Minister Hayashi to seek deeper ties with Asean amid rising security concerns

Mr Yoshimasa Hayashi said Japan was promoting efforts "to realise a Free and Open Indo-Pacific" as a way of stabilising the volatile region. PHOTO: AFP
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SINGAPORE - Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi is visiting Singapore and Malaysia this weekend, seeking support for his country's hallmark diplomatic strategy - the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) - in a year marked by sharp strategic disruptions.

"The security environment surrounding us is becoming increasingly severe, not only with regard to the situation in Ukraine, but also with regard to North Korea's nuclear and missile development and its attempts to unilaterally change the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea against a backdrop of force," Mr Hayashi said in a pre-trip interview with The Straits Times.

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