Map of the Japanese vision of the Free and Open Pacific [MoFA].

JOURNAL / Carmen Tirado Robles

[8-page document. download in PDF].


The concept of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) is said to date back to article by Indian naval officer Captain Gurpreet Khurana, who first wrote about this geopolitical concept in early 2007, in a paper graduate "Security of Sea Lines: Prospects for India-Japan Cooperation". At that time, the free and open Indo-Pacific was primarily a geographical concept describing the maritime space stretching from the East African and West Asian littorals, across the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean to the East Asian coasts. At the same time, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presented his foreign policy plan based on democratic values from which he proposed "I will engage in strategic dialogues at the leader's level with countries that share fundamental values such as Australia and India, with a view to widening the circle of free societies in Asia as well as in the world", which together with the consolidation of relations with the United States ("The times demanded that Japan shift to proactive diplomacy based on new thinking. I will demonstrate the 'Japan-U.S. Alliance for Asia and the World' even further, and to promote diplomacy that will actively contribute to stalwart solidarity in Asia"), creates the concept of the Quadrilateral or Quad, as opposed to a Sino-centric view of Asia.

The idea of the Quad joins the FOIP when Abe, in August 2007, in his speech before the Indian Parliament, built on the "Confluence of the Indian and Pacific Oceans" and "the dynamic coupling as seas of freedom and prosperity" of Asia's largest geographical region and later on, in his second term, he presented the new Indo-Pacific geopolitical framework at the 6th Tokyo lecture on development Africa, which took place in Nairobi (Kenya) on 27 August 2016 (TICAD VI).

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