Japan, Mongolia to cooperate on 'Free and Open Indo-Pacific'

TOKYO (AP) - The Foreign Ministers of Japan and Mongolia agreed on Friday to work together to promote a "free and open Indo-Pacific," a vision that Tokyo is advancing with the US and other "like-minded" countries to counter China's growing assertiveness of the region.
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi held talks with his Mongolian counterpart Nyamtseren Enkhtaivan in Ulaanbaatar on Friday. Motegi's visit came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled a trip to Mongolia because of President Donald Trump's COVID-19 infection.
Motegi, who reached an agreement with colleagues from the USA, Australia and India in “Quad” negotiations in Tokyo on Tuesday to seek more support for the FOIP concept of security and economic cooperation in ensuring open sea routes to the Middle East . China claims most of the South China Sea.
The Japanese and Mongolian ministers said at a press conference on Friday that they had committed to further cooperation in achieving the FOIP, while also expressing their willingness to step up cooperation in the areas of security, medicine and business.
The two sides also signed a $ 235 million emergency loan to help the pandemic-hit Mongolian economy and fund medical equipment.
Japan and the US have pushed the FOIP to bring together countries that share concerns about China's growing influence in the region.

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