The Indo-Pacific is a combination of the Indian Ocean and the Central and Western Pacific Ocean. This strategy has become a major strategy since 2017, as the United States seeks to maintain balance in Asia, but the term Indo-Pacific has been used by Indian naval commander for more than a decade. The strategy is also rooted from US foreign policy of “Asia Pivot” since the Obama administration, due to the shift of the world power from the West to East. The Asia also needs the United States to rebalance Asia.
The strategy is mainly focused on Asia and Africa, which have strong potential for growth, has ASEAN as the center and surrounded by major international shipping lanes. The Open and Free Indo-Pacific strategy has three main pillars: Establish and promote the rule of law, democracy, freedom of exploration and free trade, 2. Improving economic cooperation; and 3. To ensure peace and stability, including the laws of the sea, which guarantee freedom of movement and freedom of navigation in the sea.
Japan: The strong growth of the Chinese military economy and the influence are the threats to Japan’s security and economic interests. Japan, an industrial and high-tech country, relies on the import of raw materials and, in particular, 90% of the oil ship to Japan has to pass the South China Sea, where China is trying to control it. In addition, China’s new Silk Road project has exacerbated China’s influence and economy in Asia and Africa, where Japan also does business. Japan’s main goal is to ensure the freedom of inland waterway transport and work together to reduce Chinese influence and expand its business and its role to compete with China in the region.
Japan also has a dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea. Japan alone has no enough power to counter-China. Therefore, it is the great opportunity for Japan to join with other powerful nations and counter-China. There are two biggest enemies of Japan, China, an enemy that Japan invaded and killed, and an enemy that killed and occupied Japan, U.S. In order to challenges China, Japan needs to shake hands with US and all Chinese ‘enemies. (please read the next article, the Indo-pacific: Indian objectives and interests)