The Japanese Defence Ministry said Friday that it will host a meeting of defence representatives from Japan and Pacific island countries in Tokyo over two days from Tuesday.

It is the second meeting under the framework after an online meeting in September 2021 and the first to be held in person.

Participants will aim to strengthen their cooperation to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region amid China’s growing influence in the southern Pacific.

The meeting will be attended by the defense ministers of Fiji and Papua New Guinea and representatives from other countries.

Japan’s ally, the United States, as well as like-minded countries such as Britain and Australia, will also participate.