TOKYO — In his Nov 13 meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence showcased their countries’ close ties by announcing a combined $70 billion commitment to infrastructure development, with a primary focus on the Indo-Pacific region.
“My nation now offers $60 billion in development financing, and infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific will be a priority,” Pence said at a press conference with Abe after the meeting. “We’re also grateful, Mr. Prime Minister, that Japan has targeted $10 billion in investment by public and private organizations to promising energy infrastructure projects.”
The Trump administration’s enthusiasm for Indo-Pacific development is welcome news for the Japanese leader. It was Japan that conceived of the initiative, hoping to draw the Trump administration’s attention to Asia, and while not openly discussed, with a hope that keeping China busy in the Indian Ocean would divert pressure from the neighboring East China Sea.