Washington [US], March 10 (ANI): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit Japan and South Korea next week to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world, the US Department of State said on Wednesday (local time).
Blinken will visit the two countries from March 15 to 18 to reaffirm the United States' commitment to strengthening alliances and to highlight cooperation that promotes peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.
On March 16-17 in Tokyo, Blinken and Lloyd will attend the US-Japan Security Consultative Committee ("2+2") meeting hosted by Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi and Minister of Defence Nobuo Kishi.
Blinken will meet with Minister Motegi and other senior officials to discuss a range of bilateral and global issues. He will meet virtually with business leaders to highlight the importance of US-Japan economic ties and discuss the economic impact of COVID-19, the US Department of State statement said.
Blinken will also host a virtual roundtable with emerging Japanese journalists to discuss the future of the US-Japan Alliance, the role of a free press in promoting good governance and defending democracy, and the widespread benefits from advancing gender equity and opportunities for women worldwide, the statement said.
It said that on March 17-18 in Seoul, Blinken and Austin will attend the US- Republic of Korea (ROK) Foreign and Defence Ministerial ("2+2") hosted by the South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-Yong and Minister of Defence Suh Wook.
Blinken will meet with Foreign Minister Chung and other senior officials to discuss issues of bilateral and global importance.
He will also meet virtually with Korean youth leaders and host a virtual roundtable with emerging Korean journalists to discuss the importance of the US-ROK Alliance in promoting peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and across the globe, the statement said.
Blinken said in a tweet that he looked forward to meeting friends in Japan and South Korea.
"I look forward to meeting our friends and allies in Japan and the Republic of Korea in my first in-person visit overseas as Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin will join me in both countries as we work to promote peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and around the world," he said in a tweet. (ANI)