Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed and exchanged key agreements between India and Japan on the second-day of the former’s visit to the island nation for the 13th India-Japan Annual Summit.
India and Japan agreed for a 2+2 dialogue between the respective Foreign and Defence Ministers of the two nations.
“The 21st century cannot belong to Asia without India and Japan. Abe san and I have agreed that our foreign and defence ministers will hold 2+2 Dialogue. The aim is to further work towards world peace and stability,” PM Modi said at the joint statement with Abe.
The agreement makes Japan only the second country with which India has agreed for such a bilateral dialogue. Conceptualised in July 2017 during PM Modi’s official visit to the US, the only 2+2 dialogue so far has been between the Foreign and Defence ministers of India and the US.
The 2+2 Dialogue will be an addition to the existing mechanisms like the Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue, Defence Policy Dialogue, the National Security Advisers’ Dialogue, and Staff-level Dialogue.
In their vision statement, the two leaders welcomed the joint exercise between each of the three services and the commencement of negotiations on the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), which will enhance the strategic depth of bilateral security and defence cooperation and welcomed the signing of the Implementing Arrangement for deeper cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
Both Modi and Abe called upon Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorist attacks, including those of November 2008 in Mumbai and January 2016 in Pathankot.
Condemning in the strongest terms the growing threat of terrorism and its universal reach, the two leaders expressed their desire to strengthen cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including Al-Qaida, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lakshar-e-Tayyiba, and their affiliates.
Modi and Abe said that there is a need for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism and violent extremism and called upon all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels, and halting cross-border movement of terrorists.
There was, however, no development on the US-2 amphibian aircraft, which India seeks to purchase from Japan. In their vision document, India and Japan said that they will continue to make efforts with regard to cooperation on the aircraft.
During the joint statement, PM Modi said that India and Japan “agree that from digital partnership to cyberspace, health, defence, ocean to space, in every field we will strengthen our partnership”.
“I have been told that today Japan investors have announced that they will invest 2.5 billion US dollars in India,” he said.
The PM also particularly thanked his Japanese counterpart for the special reception accorded to him at Yamanashi Prefecture.
He said that the decision to establish a currency swap mechanism between the two nations reflects the growing closeness between India and Japan on mutual trust and economic cooperation.
“At the delegation level talks, PM @narendramodi & PM @AbeShinzo reviewed developments in bilateral relations & explored new areas of cooperation, focusing on shared vision for peace & prosperity in the Indo-Pacific,” tweeted MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
Before the bilateral talks, PM Modi was accorded a ceremonial reception at the Japanese Prime Minister’s office with Abe joining him during the Guard of Honour.
Earlier today, PM Modi addressed a gathering of industry captains from Japan and India in Tokyo, where he pitched India as an ideal investment destination for Japanese investors.
Acknowledging India and Japan’s co-existence on the foundation of faith and shared heritage, PM Modi said that his government has accorded top priority to Ease of Doing Business.
“In 2014, when I took over the reins of the government, India’s position in World’s Ease of Doing Business was 142nd. Now we are on the 100th rank and are still working on a very broad scale to improve the rankings.
He said that even the states in India are competing among themselves over Ease of Doing Business.
“India has started ranking its 36 states and Union Territories on the ease of doing business. This has resulted in a healthy competition among them for investment and led to better results,” the PM said.
He also held a discussion with venture capitalists and top CEOs from the two countries at a special meeting.
“Close economic relations are the cornerstone of the India-Japan partnership. Had the opportunity to meet leading venture capitalists and top CEOs from India as well as Japan. The discussions in these sessions were extremely fruitful and will add strength to our ties,” tweeted the PM.
Besides meeting business leaders, PM Modi held discussions with Japanese Minister of Economics Hiroshige Seko, Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Secretary General of LDP Toshihiro Nikai, Chairman of Policy Research Council of LDP Fumio Kishida.
He also met Heita Kawakatsu, the Governor of Shizuoka province, and Yuji Kuroiwa, the Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture, and discussed ways to strengthen cultural and people-to-people ties between India and Japan.
The PM also addressed the Indian diaspora in Japan during which he invited the Indian community in Japan to contribute actively in building a “new India”.
“India is going through a massive transformative phase and international agencies say the country will drive the growth of the global economy in the coming decade,” he told the gathering.
PM Modi, who arrived in Japan on Saturday for his third visit to the country, was hosted by the Japanese PM at the latter’s personal villa near Lake Kawaguchi in Yamanashi Prefecture for a private lunch. The special reception was the first for any foreign leader to have visited Japan.
The Japanese PM said on Twitter that the opportunity allowed him to talk frankly about India-Japan relations in a relaxed atmosphere. Abe said that he will work closely and firmly with PM Modi for a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The Indian PM is one of the 18 persons Abe follows on Twitter.
The two leaders, who were meeting for the 13th time since 2014, spent 8 hours at Yamanashi before departing for Tokyo by Express Train Kaiji.