Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to visit India this year. It was announced by Norio Maruyama, press secretary in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at a press conference on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg. He said, “Since the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Japan in 2014, the partnership has flourished. PM Abe will be visiting India this year. Date has not been decided yet but he looks forward to it”.
Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Modi had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that lasted for thirty five minutes wherein a range of issues were discussed from economic, trade, investment to defence and security cooperation.
Norio Maruyama, referring to the Malabar exercises emphasised the importance of the defence cooperation “not just between India and Japan but also Japan, India and the US.”
To a question on whether the recent border standoff between India and China and China’s territorial aggression that Japan also suffers in the disputed waters, Mr Maruyama said, “We have a strategy of free and open Indo-Pacific and India has a Look-East policy. We discussed strengthening our coordination on that front”.
ISSUES DISCUSSED ::
He did not clarify if the border standoff issue specifically figured or not but hinted at the fact that both sides discussed ways to cooperate against territorial aggression and continue commitment towards freedom of navigation.
India and Japan touched upon various fronts such as high speed rail, civil nuclear energy and also how to contain North Korea.
On India’s concerns regarding One-Belt-One Road (OBOR) initiative of China, the Japanese press secretary referred to Prime Minister Abe’s conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping saying that Japan has laid pre-conditons for cooperation on that front. He said, “There are explanations from the Chinese side. It is a concept that has potential. But, it should integrate the common understanding of the international society and positively contribute to peace and stability. And to this effect Japan will cooperate”.
India has impressed upon all her allies and partners on the sensitivity of being a part of OBOR as it violates India’s territorial integrity with some projects passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) which India says is its integral part.
By: India Today
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