Secretary Michael R. Pompeo opening remarks at Quad Ministerial, Japan

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Iikura Guest House
Tokyo, Japan

October 6, 2020

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MODERATOR: Excellencies, thank you very much for coming. 

FOREIGN MINISTER MOTEGI:  (In Japanese.)

Mike, please.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Great, thank you.  Good evening, everyone.  Foreign Minister Motegi, thank you so much for hosting us, the second meeting of the Quad foreign ministers.  I personally appreciate your hospitality.  I know my whole team does. 

Foreign Minister Payne, Foreign Minister Jaishankar, it’s great to be with you all again.  So glad we could all meet here in Tokyo so soon after the new Suga administration has taken office.  I’m confident that we can build on the good work of former Prime Minister Abe, a deeply valued friend of each of our three countries.

The strength of our collaboration is a proud testament to his vision and legacy and a testament to the enduring power of democracy to bring free peoples together.  Our partnership isn’t multilateralism for the sake of it.  All of us seek a free and open Indo-Pacific and our conversations aim to achieve that good outcome.

When we met, now last year, the landscape was very different.  We couldn’t have imagined the pandemic that came from Wuhan.  That crisis was made infinitely worse by the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup.  The regime’s authoritarian nature led its leaders to lock up and silence the very brave Chinese citizens who were raising the alarm.  America stands with each of you as we work to achieve victory over this horrible pandemic and rebuild our economies together, and I’m looking forward to that part of our conversation today.

I also look forward to resolving – to renewing our resolve to protect our precious freedoms and the sovereignty of the diverse nations of the region.  As partners in this Quad, it is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partners from the CCP’s exploitation, corruption, and coercion.  We’ve seen it in the south, in the East China Sea, the Mekong, the Himalayas, the Taiwan Straits.  These are just a few examples.

I’m looking forward to our meetings and to more concrete steps with the Quad going forward.  When we exchange ideas openly and work together, good things follow. 

Thank you again, Foreign Minister Motegi, for hosting us, and for Prime Minister Suga’s leadership to help make the Quad a force for good in the region, and indeed the world.  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  (Inaudible) Payne.

FOREIGN MINISTER PAYNE:  Thank you very much, Foreign Minister Motegi, for hosting us here, particularly in the circumstances of COVID-19.  And thank you also to our friends, Minister Jaishankar and Secretary Pompeo for traveling for what will be, I am sure, a very productive meeting.

This important step in the continuing evolution of the Quad signals our steadfast commitment to working together to promote an open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific.  The Quad has a positive agenda.  It’s a diplomatic network that assists us as democracies to align ourselves in support of shared interests.  We believe in a region governed by rules, not power.  We believe in the fundamental importance of individual rights and in a region which – in which disputes are resolved according to international law.  And we believe in regional security and recovery from COVID-19 that supports sovereign choices for the countries of the Indo-Pacific. 

Australia is achieving this vision in our engagement across the Indo-Pacific by working closely with ASEAN, by stepping up with the Pacific, including supporting regional institutions such as the Pacific Islands Forum.  We are supporting the region’s economic recovery, strengthening health security, promoting access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.  In these efforts, Australia has no more important partners than Japan, the United States, and India. 

Today, we will exchange strategic assessments and agree to actions to support our aligned interests in areas including health cooperation, maritime security, critical minerals and technologies, countering disinformation, and humanitarian assistance. 

Foreign Minister Motegi, we are grateful for Japan’s leadership and honored to be here so soon after Prime Minister Suga assumed office.  As Secretary Pompeo said, we also acknowledge our great friend, former Prime Minister Abe, for his leadership over many years.  Under Prime Minister Suga and your leadership, we look forward to a very successful meeting and an even more powerful partnership between our four countries. 

MODERATOR:  Thank you, Madam.  (Inaudible) Jaishankar, (inaudible).

FOREIGN MINISTER JAISHANKAR:  Minister Motegi, Secretary Pompeo, Minister Payne, I’m, like all of you, very pleased to be present here for the second Quad ministerial meeting.  These consultations on regional and global issues of common interest are important for all of us. 

And let me begin by thanking you, Minister Motegi and Japan, for your warm and generous, gracious hospitality.  We all had an opportunity today to meet and congratulate Prime Minister Suga in person, and I join my colleagues in also expressing my appreciation for the many contributions of Prime Minister Abe.  The fact that we are meeting here today in person despite a global pandemic is a testimony to the importance that these consultations have gained, particularly in recent times.  Our world, you will all agree, is significantly different today than what it was when we met last year in New York in September. 

Now, the events of this year have clearly demonstrated how imperative it is for like-minded countries to coordinate responses to various challenges that the pandemic has brought to the fore.  As we collectively navigate these uncharted waters, we seek to emerge from the pandemic more resilient than ever before.  You are also aware that India assumes membership of the UN Security Council next year.  We look forward to seeking collective solutions to global challenges, including global recovery from the pandemic and reform of multilateral institutions. 

As wide-brimmed and pluralistic democracies with shared values, our nations have affirmed collectively the importance of maintaining a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific.  We remain committed to upholding the rules-based international order underpinned by the rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation in international seas, and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty and peaceful resolution of disputes.  Our objective remains advancing the security and the economic interests of all countries having legitimate and vital interests in the region.  It is a matter of satisfaction that the Indo-Pacific concept has gained increasingly wider acceptance.  The Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative that we tabled at the East Asia Summit last year is a development with considerable promise in that context.

I look forward to our discussions today on important issues such as connectivity, infrastructure development, security including counterterrorism, cyber and maritime security, health cooperation, and the stability and prosperity of the region.  In this spirit, I look forward to engaging all of us today at the consultation.  Thank you very much.

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