Tokyo [Japan], April 7 (ANI): Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga plans to visit India and the Philippines later this month to discuss regional security to bolster a free and open Indo-Pacific region amid China's growing aggression in the South and East China seas.
The visit is likely to take place towards the end of this month after a planned trip to Washington, NHK reported on Wednesday, citing informed sources.
Japan has been trying to enhance security cooperation with such regional countries amid China's attempts to unilaterally change the status quo in the South and East China seas.
Recently, more than 200 Chinese vessels have massed the Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea claimed by both China and the Philippines.
The Philippine foreign ministry on Monday said China's claims that the boats were sheltering from bad weather were "blatant falsehoods" and "clearly [a] false narrative of China's expansive and illegitimate claims in the West Philippine Sea".
Last month, the foreign and defence ministers of Japan and Indonesia held a meeting in the 22 format and expressed commitment to working toward a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The Asia-Pacific region features several territorial disputes in the South China and East China seas which involve Brunei, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Beijing claims most of the region. (ANI)