More Europe in the Indo-Pacific: Trilateral Forum Tokyo
In an innovative move, the sixth Trilateral Forum Tokyo brought together representatives from not only Japan, the United States, and Europe but also Australia and India on one stage to discuss challenges in the Indo-Pacific. This made the forum a unique Quad+ Europe platform. Quite often Europe seems removed from geopolitics playing out in the Indo-Pacific. This forum challenged that notion by highlighting the common challenges all these like-minded countries face, underscored that Europe’s security and prosperity are very much affected by developments in the Indo-Pacific, and highlighted areas of cooperation Europe, Japan, and other Asian partners can build on.
A key theme of the forum was China’s regional strategy and the changing balance of power in the Indo-Pacific. While European policy makers don’t yet use the term “Indo-Pacific,” European governments and publics are increasingly aware of the China challenge—both on the continent and increasingly also in Asia. The forum provided an opportunity to take stock of challenges posed by China’s rise, particularly as it continues to violate international norms and rules.