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US and Japan plan 'Belt and Road' alternative for Indo-Pacific

Japan and the U.S. will draw up guidelines on supporting the development of high-quality infrastructure, including 5G wireless and hydrogen power, in the Indo-Pacific and elsewhere as a counterweight to China's Belt and Road initiative.

The two allies aim to reach an agreement to expand cooperation on foreign infrastructure construction when Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President Joe Biden meet at the White House on April 16. The leaders will discuss promoting high-speed fifth-generation wireless and clean energy in the Indo-Pacific region.

By setting out a clear framework for organizations and businesses to follow, Tokyo and Washington aim to win the trust of countries in the region and gain an edge in their competition with Beijing for Indo-Pacific influence.

The guidelines will cover preconditions for investment, systems for carrying out projects, and recommendations on cultivating local talent. They will also set standards for procurement and rules for maintenance to minimize the risk of technology leaks.

This general framework will allow for more planned investment than the project-by-project approach followed under a 2017 memorandum of understanding on the topic.


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