India and Japan on Monday signed six agreements after delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, PTI reported. These included pacts on a high-speed train project and naval cooperation. Modi is on a two-day visit to Japan to attend the 13th India-Japan annual summit.
Both nations also agreed to hold a 2+2 dialogue between their foreign and defence ministers. “The aim of this is to further work towards world peace and stability,” Modi said. “We both agree that from digital partnership to cyberspace, health, defence, ocean to space, in every field we will strengthen our partnership.”
During the 13th annual summit, the two leaders reviewed the bilateral ties and explored new areas of cooperation. Both countries agreed to focus on developing stronger partnerships in other parts of the world, including the Indo-Pacific, South Asia, and Africa.
“The two leaders’ vision for the Indo-Pacific is based on a rules-based order that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, ensures freedom of navigation and overflight as well as unimpeded lawful commerce, and seeks peaceful resolution of disputes...without resorting to threat or use of force,” said the India-Japan Vision Statement.
Japan also extended its support for India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a move that China opposes. “After India’s full accession to three international export control regimes, the two leaders pledged to continue working together for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, with the aim of strengthening the global non-proliferation efforts,” the statement added.
Modi and Abe reviewed progress on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project, developed in collaboration with Japan, and the countries signed an agreement on yen loan for it. They also signed a pact on implementing an arrangement for further cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force.
“The two leaders reaffirmed their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons and remained resolute in the task of strengthening international cooperation to address the challenges of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism,” the vision statement read.
The two countries also called upon Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorist attacks, including those responsible for the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai and the January 2016 attack in Pathankot. “They looked forward to strengthening cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including Al-Qaida, ISIS [Islamic State], Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lakshar-e-Tayyiba, and their affiliates,” the statement added.
Before the delegation-level talks, Modi addressed a “Make in India” seminar in Tokyo, where he explained the steps taken by the Indian government to improve the ease of doing business and the ease of living for citizens. Modi applauded Japan’s contributions to several important industrial projects in India, adding that India’s rising economy, fast growing middle class and young demography offersmany new opportunities to Japanese investors. In this context, he spoke about low-cost manufacturing, the information technology industry, and electric mobility, among other sectors.
Modi urged Japan’s medium, small and micro enterprises to explore business opportunities in India, promising a more conducive environment to consolidate bilateral trade ties. “It’s not only big companies but micro, small and medium enterprises that are welcome to India,” he said. “Through MSMEs, too, Japanese entrepreneurs can take their businesses to new highs.”
Earlier in the day, Modi addressed the Indian diaspora in Tokyo and said that India is undergoing a transformative phase and making tremendous progress in the field of digital infrastructure. “The world is appreciating India for its efforts towards services [to] humanity,” he said. “The policies being made in India and the work that is being done towards public welfare...for these, the nation is being felicitated today.”