Kishida, Trudeau agree to boost cooperation for free, open Indo-Pacific region

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau have agreed to boost cooperation to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

They met in the Canadian capital Ottawa on Thursday. It was Kishida's fourth leg of his trip to five Group of Seven countries in the run-up to the G7 summit in Hiroshima in May.

Kishida said at the start of the meeting that Japan, which holds this year's G7 presidency, will lead discussions on various global challenges, such as climate change and economic security, in cooperation with Canada and other countries.

The leaders agreed to join forces to successfully hold the Hiroshima summit amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine and other international issues.

Kishida explained Japan's efforts to drastically reinforce its defense capabilities. Trudeau expressed approval.

Canada unveiled a new Indo-Pacific strategy in November, which describes China as "an increasingly disruptive global power." Beijing has been stepping up its maritime activities in the region.