Later Monday, Kishida held online talks with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, agreeing to strengthen their security and economic ties bilaterally and as part of the Quad alliance, which also includes the United States and India, to promote the regional peace and stability, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Kishida expressed his support of a newly launched security partnership among Australia, Britain and the United States, or AUKUS. He and Morrison reaffirmed their firm objection to what’s seen as economic overbearing by China and unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the regional seas, the ministry said.
Kishida, 64, had been known as a moderate in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party but won the party’s leadership last week after a hawkish turn on security and taking a more conservative stance on gender equality and other issues, apparently to win over influential conservatives in the party.
He succeeds Yoshihide Suga, who resigned after only one year in office after seeing his support plunging over his handling of the virus and insistence on holding the Olympics ” seen as high-handed and ignoring the public’s concerns.