Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe asked India to join his country to create the Asian links in an "arc of freedom" that would exclude China, the South China Morning Post reported. Abe introduced his idea of an "arc of freedom and prosperity" that would include Australia and the United States, but made no mention of China. "This partnership is an association in which we share fundamental values such as freedom, democracy and respect for basic human rights," Abe said. The Japanese leader made the announcement in India, adding that a Japan-India partnership would create a "broader Asia." The two countries are now negotiating an economic partnership agreement that officials promise will be finalized by the end of the year. They have already agreed to protect each other from runs on their currencies.