Japan's Motegi Begins Tour of Baltic Countries


Tokyo, July 1 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi has begun a tour of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, hoping to strengthen cooperation with the Baltic countries to counter China's increasing assertiveness.

On Thursday, Motegi met with his Estonian counterpart, Eva-Maria Liimets, in the European country's capital of Tallinn.

"We've agreed on the importance of maintaining and strengthening rules-based international order that is free and open" through cooperation among countries sharing common values, Motegi told an online joint press conference held after the meeting.

Protecting supply chains plays a key role in ensuring security not only in Estonia but also in the Indo-Pacific region, Liimets said, apparently bearing in mind strategic products such as semiconductors and pharmaceuticals.

China has worked for years to enhance its relations with Central and Eastern European countries to strengthen its Belt and Road infrastructure investment network. The two sides created the "17 plus one" group for economic cooperation.

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Jiji Press