Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday announced an expansive new plan for an open and free Indo-Pacific, promising billions of dollars in investment to help economies across the region in everything from industry to disaster prevention.

The plan announced in New Delhi is seen as Tokyo's bid to forge stronger partnerships with countries in South and Southeast Asia to counter China's growing assertiveness.

Kishida said the new free and open Indo-Pacific plan had "four pillars": maintaining peace, dealing with new global issues in cooperation with Indo-Pacific countries, achieving global connectivity through various platforms, and ensuring the safety of the open seas and skies.

To achieve this, Kishida pledged $75 billion to the Indo-Pacific by 2030 through private investments and yen loans, and the ramping up of aid through official governmental assistance and grants. (Reporting by Sakua Murakami in TOKYO and Krishn Kaushik in NEW DELHI; editing by Y.P. Rajesh and Bernadette Baum)