Japan, Indonesia hold 2-plus-2 meeting

The foreign and defense ministers of Japan and Indonesia have met in Tokyo and are believed to have confirmed that they will work together to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Japan's Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo met with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto for about 90 minutes on Tuesday. It was the second "two-plus-two" meeting between Japan and Indonesia.

At the opening of the meeting, Motegi said the global security environment had greatly changed, apparently with China's increased activities in the East China and South China seas in mind.

He said the preconditions for international peace and prosperity can't be taken for granted anymore, saying that there are attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force.

Motegi expressed Japan's wish to elevate cooperation with Indonesia to a higher level across a wide range of areas, including security.

Kishi referred to China's new coast guard law, which came into force last month. The law authorizes China's Coast Guard to use weapons.

Kishi said the law includes problematic provisions that are inconsistent with international law. He said this law must not affect the legitimate interests of concerned countries including Japan and Indonesia, and added that it is important for the two countries to work together amid a severe security environment.

The ministers are believed to have shared concerns over China's activities at sea, and to have confirmed they will step up cooperative efforts involving Southeast Asian nations to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The officials are believed to have agreed to step up multilateral drills that include Japan's Self-Defense Forces and Indonesia's military.

They are also thought to have agreed that Japan will provide support to help Indonesia enhance its coast-guard capabilities, and that they will promote the development of remote islands in the South China Sea.

The ministers are also likely to have shared concerns over the situation in Myanmar, where the military's continued use of force against demonstrators protesting the country's coup has killed an increasing number of people.

They are also likely to have discussed North Korea following its launch of ballistic missiles last week.

After the talks, Motegi and Prabowo signed a pact aimed at promoting the transfer of defense equipment and technical support as part of efforts to boost bilateral security cooperation.