Amid the growing Chinese assertiveness on maritime issues, India and Japan have reaffirmed their commitment to realising a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

At the 10th India-Japan strategic dialogue on Monday night, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called for cooperation between India and Japan in the third world countries and in India’s North-Eastern region. The two ministers shared the view to continue to crystalise cooperation through the Act East Forum.

According to the External Affairs Ministry, the two leaders exchanged views of regional and global issues of common interest. They reaffirmed that based on shared values and interests, the India-Japan special strategic and global partnership has acquired a broader significance in the current global context and has become a factor of prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Kono is believed to have told Swaraj that for Japan, India was the most important partner for realising a free Indo-Pacific region. Japan, he said, would like India to play a leading role in promoting peace and prosperity in the region and the world.

He said that in order to further promote bilateral security and defence cooperation, Japan hoped for the early realisation of the 2+2 dialogue between the two countries within this year and dialogues on space and cyber cooperation.

Swaraj congratulated Kono for Japan’s hosting of the G-20 Summit in Osaka in June 2019 and assured India’s full support to Tokyo during its presidency of the G-20. She also stated that India expected Japanese companies to increase investments in India.