Japan is scheduled to host a meeting of leaders from Pacific island countries and territories for three days from 16 July to discuss cooperation on issues amid the deteriorating global security environment, the government said Friday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said at a regular press conference that the summit in Tokyo would be an opportunity to reiterate the free and open regional order based on the rule of law, apparently with China’s growing military and economic clout in mind.

Hayashi, the top government spokesman, also said the participants are expected to discuss climate change and other global issues during the 10th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting, which will be chaired by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Ahead of the summit, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa is slated to make a four-day trip from this Friday to Samoa and Fiji. On 12 February, a foreign ministerial gathering of representatives from the Pacific island nations and regions is set to take place in Fiji.

The Pacific islands summit involving 18 countries and territories, including Australia and New Zealand, has been held every three years since 1997.