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Japan’s Indo-Pacific Strategy
Published November 2, 2023
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Japan’s Indo-Pacific Strategy predates that of the U.S. In fact, Abe Shinzo gets credit for envisioning it as early as 2007, during his first brief tenure as prime minister. When he returned to office in December 2012, he revitalized the effort to actualize his vision as the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP) strategy and began to institutionalize it, securing support from the United States, Australia, and most critically, India. After he left office in 2020, his Indo-Pacific strategy had the full support of his successors, Suga Yoshihide and Kishida Fumio, each of whom added their own touches to Abe’s vision. This article examines what drove Abe’s approach to the Indo-Pacific and how it evolved first under Suga and then Kishida. It then reflects on how the Japanese view the Biden approach, followed by a preliminary comparison between the Biden and Kishida approaches as of early 2023 for the similarities and differences in their thinking.

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