India and Japan on Thursday decided to hold a ‘2+2’ dialogue involving their foreign and defence ministers before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits India later this year for the annual India-Japan Summit.
The decision was taken at a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Abe in Osaka (Japan). Modi is in Japan to attend the two-day G-20 Summit which begins on Friday.
“Before the annual summit this year, there would be a number of important meetings between the two countries, the most important being the 2+2 ministerial meeting. Foreign and defence ministers of the two countries will meet and discuss issues related to policies and security,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said at a briefing on the Modi-Abe meeting. He, however, did not give any date for the ‘2+2’ meeting. India currently holds the dialogue in the ‘2+2’ format with the US.
Describing the Modi-Abe meeting as warm, Gokhale said the two leaders were old friends and they had cordial and fruitful discussions on the entire gamut of bilateral relationship.
The two leaders discussed the possibility of their two countries undertaking joint connectivity projects in India’s neighbourhood, including in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar. The two countries have already undertaken a cancer hospital project in Kenya. Modi appreciated the work being done by Japan in India’s North-East by working on infrastructure and connectivity projects.
The two leaders also briefly discussed the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed railway corridor and the convention centre being build in Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi with Japanese assistance.
They also touched upon India’s Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill apart from issues like climate change, disaster-resilient infrastructure and disaster management.
Modi and Abe are scheduled to meet again on Friday for a trilateral meeting of the leaders of Japan, India and the US. President Donald Trump will represent the US at the meeting.