Come together: Asia’s Quad alliance likened to Beatles | Inquirer News
Longtime partners who can always go solo

Come together: Asia’s Quad alliance likened to Beatles

/ 05:34 AM March 04, 2023

(From left) U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar attend “the Quad” foreign ministerial session in New Delhi on Friday, March 3, 2023. | AFP

NEW DELHI — As Asia’s “Quad” powers search for ways to define the group, Japan’s foreign minister has offered a model — The Beatles.

Yoshimasa Hayashi, an avid music fan, drew the parallel to the Fab Four on Friday, as he met his Quad counterparts from the United States, Australia, and India in New Delhi.


“This is kind of a band like The Beatles. The members are fixed and they always play together [for over] 10 years,” Hayashi said.


“But this is more kind of a soft group, so that even within the Beatles, Paul McCartney can release a solo album.”

Hayashi himself is a skilled pianist. In 2021, he wowed his counterparts in the international association G7 (Group of Seven) during a meeting in Liverpool, the English band’s hometown, as he did an impromptu performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

The Quad was spearheaded by the late Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as an alliance of democracies, which China thereafter described as an attempt to encircle it.

Its members deny hostile intentions and emphasize that their group is not a military alliance—instead cooperating in areas, such as vaccine production and disaster relief.

‘Variable geometry’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken — himself a guitarist who has released his own songs inspired by classic rock — made a similar point to Hayashi, if less musically.

“We really look at this as variable geometry,” Blinken said.


“There are different collections of countries — some informal alliances, some looser partnerships, some working together on a bilateral basis, some in slightly larger groupings,” he added.

“The idea really is to make sure that we’re fit for purpose for any particular challenge.”


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TAGS: Asia, dialogue, Japan, Quad, Security, The Beatles, United States

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