Japanese Defence Minister Taro Kono has called for increased cooperation in the India-Pacific region to counter Chinese expansion. Speaking at a webinar held by Washington-based Center for Strategic & International Studies in Tokyo, Kono pitched for a larger regional mechanism or global mechanism to counter China. Indo Pacific region is largely viewed as an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea. China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea its efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims in the South China Sea. In recent years, Japan has expressed increasing concern regarding Beijing’s activities in the region especially concerning the situation with the disputed Senkaku islands, known in China as the Diaoyudao islands and claimed by Beijing to be Chinese territory.
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