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What is Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy?

By Staff Writer
August 25, 2023
The Indo-Pacific is a vast region stretching from the Asia-Pacific Ocean through the Indian Ocean to the Middle East and Africa, and is the core of global vitality, home to half of the world's population. However, the Indo-Pacific is also a region of rapidly changing power relations among countries. It also faces various threats such as piracy, terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, natural disasters, and illegal operations.
A world map

Background of FOIP

FOIP is a diplomatic strategy launched by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Kenya in August 2016. The aim is to make the Indo-Pacific region a free and fair international community, free from force and intimidation, as some countries in the region have not yet developed their laws and could not face foreign countries correspondingly, even though they account for half of the world economy.

By contributing to infrastructure and human resource development, Japan seeks to become a leading force for peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, while also supporting Japan’s growth into the future.
Infrastructure including roads and buildings

Three Pillars of FOIP

The following three pillars have been set forth to make FOIP a reality.

  • 1. Spread and entrench the rule of law, freedom of navigation, free trade, etc.
  • 2. Pursuit of economic prosperity (connectivity, strengthening of economic partnerships including EPA/FTA and investment agreements)
  • 3. Ensuring peace and stability (building maritime law enforcement capacity, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, etc.)
  • Examples of Japan's FOIP Initiatives

  • ●Policy communication on maritime order and sharing knowledge on the law of the sea with the international community
  • ●Making rules to expand a free and fair economic zone (TPP11 agreement, EU-EPA, Japan-US trade agreement, Japan-US Digital Trade Agreement, etc.)
  • ●Achieving connectivity across the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean (G20 Principles on High-quality Infrastructure Investment
  • ●Strengthening governance (e.g., support for capacity building in fiscal policy and public debt management)
  • ●Maritime security and maritime safety (e.g., provision of equipment and human resource development for maritime law enforcement to Southeast Asian littoral states)
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