Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Japanese PM Fumio Kishida in Hiroshima on Saturday (All images courtesy: PIB)
In a string of early morning meetings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks with the leaders of Japan, South Korea and Vietnam on the sidelines of the ongoing Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Japan’s Hiroshima on Saturday.
PM Modi began the day by unveiling Mahatma Gandhi’s bust in the city and then held “warm and productive talks” with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the two leaders discussed ways to synergise the efforts of respective G-7 and G-20 Presidencies, and the need to highlight the voice of the Global South.
They also exchanged views on contemporary regional developments and on deepening cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and agreed on ways to further strengthen the bilateral Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
Discussions focused on areas of education, skill development, tourism, Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE), green hydrogen, high technology, semiconductors and digital public infrastructure. Combating terrorism and reform of the United Nations was also discussed.
“Had an excellent meeting with PM Kishida this morning. We reviewed the full range of India-Japan relations and also discussed the focus areas of India’s G-20 Presidency and Japan’s G-7 Presidency towards making our planet better,” tweeted PM Modi after the meeting.
This was the second meeting between the two Prime Ministers in as many months following Kishida’s visit to New Delhi in March this year.
PM Modi thanked the Japanese PM for planting in Hiroshima the Bodhi sapling that had been gifted by him during their visit to Delhi’s Buddha Jayanti Park on March 20.
Hiroshima is also Kishida’s hometown and PM Modi recalled that the Indian Parliament commemorated Hiroshima Day every year.
In his next meeting with South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol, PM Modi discussed ways to advance India-Korea Special Strategic Partnership.
They noted that India and the Republic of Korea share a warm friendship and deep-rooted cultural linkages and discussed ways to further cement the friendship in key developmental sectors.
“Leaders agreed to deepen cooperation in areas of trade and investment, high technology, IT hardware manufacturing, defence, semiconductor, and culture. Also discussed India’s G20 presidency and Korea’s Indo-Pacific strategy,” the MEA stated.
With both countries celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations this year, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral ties.
“Delighted to have met President of Korea Yoon Suk Yeo. We talked about ways to enhance cooperation in futuristic sectors like IT, innovation, technology, semiconductors and more. Boosting commercial linkages and defence ties also featured prominently in the discussions,” tweeted PM Modi.
Delighted to have met @President_KR Yoon Suk Yeo. We talked about ways to enhance cooperation in futuristic sectors like IT, innovation, technology, semiconductors and more. Boosting commercial linkages and defence ties also featured prominently in the discussions. pic.twitter.com/fAwYGd76FH
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 20, 2023
Wide-ranging bilateral talks with Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh followed next as both leaders discussed expanding cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, defence, building resilient supply chains, energy, science and technology, human resource development, culture and people-to-people ties.
Propelling India-Vietnam ties to new levels, PM Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart also discussed issues about regional developments as well as ASEAN and cooperation in Indo-Pacific.
A series of engagements are scheduled for PM Modi till late Saturday evening, including the third in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit that was originally scheduled to take place in Australia on May 24.
The four leaders – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and US President Biden – will go into a huddle in Hiroshima to mark the Quad’s progress over the past year.
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