The United States awarded Abe, Modi and Australian Prime Minister Morrison Medal of Merit
According to the Nikkei News, citing Kyodo News, on December 21, US President Trump announced that he had awarded the Medal of Merit to the former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Robert O’Brien, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, handed the Medal of Merit to the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Shinsuke Sugiyama. The National Security Council (NSC) of the White House praised Shinzo Abe on Twitter: “Leadership and vision for the realization of a free and open “Indo-Pacific”.
Trump also announced on the same day that he had awarded the Medal of Merit to Indian Prime Minister Modi and Australian Prime Minister Morrison.
This move seems to have the purpose of demonstrating the four-nation cooperation with the United States in advancing the “Indo-Pacific Vision”.