Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday said that he will announce his new plan on Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) on the soil of India, which he said is an “indespensable partner” of his country.
“It gives me great pleasure to be able to unveil my new vision on the soil of India which is our indispensable partner in realising FOIP: Kishida said during a joint press statement after holding delegation level bilateral talks at Hyderabad House here. The visiting Japanese PM will also deliver the 41st Sapru House Lecture on the Indo-Pacific policy. Incidentally, the late Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe initially discussed the Indo-Pacific cooperation on his trip to Delhi fifteen years ago.
“I also intend to further strengthen the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan. In addition, during my stay in India, I will announce a new plan related to the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP),” Kishida said in a tweet before departing for India.
The Japanese Prime Minister also extended a formal invitation to Prime Minister Modi to attend the G7 Hiroshima Summit, scheduled to take place in May this year.
He said that the invitation was “immediately accepted” by PM Modi and added that both countries will cooperate to have a successful G7 Hiroshima Summit and G20 New Delhi Summit.
During the joint press statement, the Japanese Prime Minister said, “I formally invited PM Modi to G7 Hiroshima Summit and on the spot, my invitation was immediately accepted.”
The two leaders took up the issue of challenges faced by the international community and decided to have close cooperation between G7 and G20 as the two countries are holding the presidencies of the summits, respectively.
Speaking further, Kishida said that Japan affirmed its strong commitment to uphold the international order. “PM Modi shared his thoughts on various themes in the international community, especially in areas of development finance, food & security, and climate energy, Kishida added.
Regarding strengthening the bilateral relations between India and Japan, Kishida said that New Delhi is Tokyo’s special strategic global partner and a wide range of discussions took place regarding it.
“Our economic cooperation with India which continues to grow rapidly will not only support the further development of India but also create significant economic opportunities for Japan. In this regard, we welcome that steady progress is being made towards realising 5 trillion yen of public & private investment in financing from Japan to India in 5 years,” Kishida said further during the joint statement held in Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Monday.
On Tourism, Kishida said that 2023 will be the year of the Japan-India tourism exchange. It will promote exchanges between India and Japan through tourism.
“2023 will be the year of the Japan-India tourism exchange to promote our exchanges through tourism. I welcome the renewal of our MoC on Japanese language education,” the Japanese PM said.
The Prime Minister of Japan also highlighted that it will continue to work on decarbonisation and energy with India.
As Kishida arrived in India earlier this morning, he paid a floral tribute at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial in Rajghat. Following that, he reached Hyderabad House where delegation talks were held between the two leaders.
“Delegation level talks led by PM @narendramodi and PM @kishida230 of Japan commence. Wide-ranging agenda on the table with a focus on cooperation in economy & commerce, climate & energy, defence & security, P2P, skill development,” the official spokesperson of MEA, Arindam Bagchi wrote on Twitter.
The visit of Kishida offered an important opportunity for both counties to engage on a bilateral level since the last Summit meeting between India and Japan took place in March 2022.
In terms of commercial and economic ties, the bilateral trade between India and Japan stood at USD 20.75 billion last year, which was the largest ever.
Japan is a very close partner of India and both countries hold an Annual Summit and a 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting.