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Japan’s Approach towards Quadrilateral Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region

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The article highlights the peculiarities  of Japan’s approach to the Quadrilateral Strategic Dialogue, the Quad, in the Indo-Pacific region. Tokyo initiated this framework in 2007, when Abe Shinzō proposed establishing permanent  cooperation  between Japan, the USA, Australia, and India. For several reasons, including  the resignation of Abe Shinzō from the post of Prime Minister, the Quad ceased to exist. In 2017, Tokyo returned to the idea of reviving the quadrilateral dialogue, seeing this as one of the ways to keep the US focused on the region and balance China’s influence. The resumption of quadrilateral cooperation in 2017, in the face of more pronounced contradictions between the members of the Quad and China, marked new priorities for Tokyo’s regional agenda. Interest in quadrilateral cooperation is closely related to the strategy of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, put forward by Abe Shinzō in 2016, which provides for close political interaction with key players in the region and active infrastructure construction. Government of Suga Yoshihide continued the foreign policy course proclaimed by Abe, and the attention of the Biden administration to the Quad gives reason to believe that this area will become a key one in Japan-US cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. Participation in the Quad is a logical continuation of Japan’s close bilateral and trilateral dialogue with the United States, as well as with India and Australia, relations with which are reaching a level that can be characterized as quasi-alliances. At the same time, Japan is interested in the Quad not being perceived as an exclusive format that reduces the establishment of the rules of conduct in the region to the will of the four players. Regarding the Quad as a tool to contain China, Tokyo emphasizes the open nature of this framework and seeks to expand the format of interaction that would include the ASEAN countries and European partners.

About the Author

O. A. Dobrinskaya
Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Dobrinskaya Olga Alekseevna – PhD, research fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

103031, Moscow, Rozhdestvenka Street, 12.


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For citations:

Dobrinskaya O.A. Japan’s Approach towards Quadrilateral Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region. Russian Japanology Review. 2022;5(1):5-27.

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