What is the Quad-Plus in connection with the current institutionalized Quad? What role does it play in the Indo-Pacific? How does Japan situate it in its “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP) vision? How can we understand the “Quad-Plus” phenomenon in the current strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific, where the US-China rivalry intensifies? In this seminar, I will discuss the development of the Quad and the Quad-Plus from a Japanese perspective and I argue that Japan’s strategic objective of the “Quad-Plus” is to create an ad-hoc coalition-building device that serves the maintenance and enhancement of the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region. It functions as a flexible strategic tool to attract like-minded states and induce their functional and strategic cooperation, depending on their needs and demands of the day. As such, the Quad-Plus is an informal cooperative security and non-traditional collective self-defense mechanism for Japan.
Kei Koga is an Assistant Professor at the Public Policy and Global Affairs Programme, School of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He has published on topics that include East Asian security, US and Japanese foreign policies, the US-Japan alliance, and ASEAN. His publications on Japan include “Japan's ‘Indo-Pacific’ question: countering China or shaping a new regional order? (International Affairs, 2020); The Concept of “Hedging” Revisited: The Case of Japan's Foreign Policy Strategy in East Asia's Power Shift (International Studies Review, 2018). He received his PhD in International Relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.