Japan arranging four-way summit with S.Korea, Australia and New Zealand

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio is arranging a meeting with the leaders of South Korea, Australia and New Zealand on the sidelines of next week's NATO summit in the United States.

Kishida revealed at a government-ruling bloc meeting on Wednesday that he will attend the NATO summit next week in Washington, and then travel to Germany for a meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

He expressed hope for strengthening Japan-NATO cooperation, as well as the partnership between Japan and Germany, in order to lay the groundwork for responding to the current international situation.

Government officials say Kishida plans to hold a meeting with top representatives from South Korea, Australia and New Zealand which, together with Japan, have been invited to the NATO summit as partners from the Indo-Pacific region.

Observers say Kishida aims to reaffirm their partnership toward peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

They say he will do so through joint opposition to forcibly making unilateral changes to the status quo, referring to China's increased maritime activity, and by sharing the importance of maintaining and strengthening a free and open international order based on the rule of law.