New Caledonia's president Philippe Germain says his talks with Japanese leaders this week will focus on the strategy for the Indo-Pacific areas as it was presented by the French president Emmanuel Macron in Noumea two weeks ago.
Mr Germain has flown to Japan for the Pacific Island Leaders Meeting, or PALM, which will include his first bilateral meeting with the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
Mr Macron's concept is to counter China's growing influence in the region which he says says could lead to a hegemony that takes away liberties and opportunities.
In an interview with the Nouvelles Caledoniennes, Mr Germain echoed the sentiment, saying for the time being the Pacific is a zone of free movement and without conflict.
For it to stay this way, he says, small countries need to be helped because a lack of revenue might tempt them to sell themselves.
Mr Germain says the region's small island states without economic sovereignty and self-sufficiency in food production won't have political sovereignty.
Before leaving Noumea, he held talks with a Japanese diplomat Kazuhiko Nakamura, who said that Mr Macron's stance resonated with Japan's views.
New Caledonia is joining the PALM talks for the first time after being made a full Pacific Islands Forum member two years ago.
However, the Japanese foreign ministry website makes no mention of New Caledonia or French Polynesia.
French Polynesia's president Edouard Fritch will miss the PALM summit because of his impending re-election by the territorial assembly in Tahiti following the landslide election victory of his Tapura Huiraatira party 10 days ago.