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India and Japan set to advance Special Strategic Global Partnership as Kishida arrives in New Delhi

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arriving in New Delhi early Monday (Video grab courtesy: ANI)

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived in New Delhi earlier today to begin his two-day India visit which he reckons would further deepen the India-Japan Special Strategic Global Partnership.

Speaking to local media in Tokyo ahead of his departure on Sunday, Kishida spotlighted the important role that India as the current G20 chair and Japan during its ongoing G20 presidency is playing.

“Prime Minister Modi and I will exchange views on the role our two countries should play as we work to resolve mounting international challenges,” he said.

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com last week, the Japanese PM will also unveil in New Delhi Tokyo’s new plan related to the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).

“I will set out in concrete terms my thinking regarding how the future should look for the Free and Open Indo-Pacific, which is at a historic turning point,” tweeted Kishida as he left for India.

Both countries have repeatedly affirmed their common vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, free from coercion and underpinned by inclusiveness and rules-based order.

Fumio Kishida India
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida departing for India on Sunday (Image courtesy: Twitter/@JPN_PMO)

That Kishida has chosen India to make the significant announcement spotlights the shared interests of the leading powers in the Indo-Pacific region and India’s immense geopolitical clout which Tokyo had realised long ago.

Threatened by Chinese belligerence, it was during his visit to New Delhi in August 2007 that Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, the late Shinzo Abe delivered his famous ‘The Confluence of Two Seas’ speech in the Indian Parliament and came up with the concept of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ for the first time.

It not only led to the elevation of the India-Japan relationship to the level of a Special Strategic and Global Partnership but also gave way to the formation of the Quad partnership between India, Japan, Australia and the United States.

Kishida and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also hold the annual India-Japan Summit meeting today.

The two leaders have also vowed to deepen security and defence cooperation between the two countries, which has already taken giant strides with the holding of the 2+2 meeting of their Foreign and Defence Ministers and a string of joint military exercises between the Indian Armed Forces and Japan Self-Defense Forces.

New collaborations in the area of defence equipment and technology, including renewed pace and fresh impetus to ongoing partnerships in the area of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and Robotics, are also on the cards during Kishida’s visit.

PM Modi

“It is particularly pleasing to see steady progress in the high-speed railway project, which is our flagship project, and efforts towards realising the target of JPY 5 trillion of public and private investment and financing from Japan to India in the next five years as announced by our two governments last year,” Kishida wrote in an opinion piece published in The Indian Express ahead of his India arrival.

“In addition, smart city projects by India, which have an edge in the digital sphere, share high compatibility with Japan’s Vision for a Digital Garden City Nation Realisation, and I would like to forge further bilateral cooperation in such fields,” he mentioned.

Japan has also lauded India’s efforts of utilising its ongoing G20 Presidency to give resonance to the voice of the ‘Global South’ at a time when the world continues to face a major crisis.

Tokyo has asserted that it attaches “great importance” to cooperation with India, especially when it comes to supporting India’s efforts to raise the concerns of Global South.

Also Read: Kishida to unveil Japan’s new Indo-Pacific strategy in Delhi