By: Shubham Ghosh
Prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday (20) thanked his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida for inviting him to the G7 summit to be held in the east Asian nation in May.
Modi extended his gratitude during his delegation-level bilateral talks with Kishida at Hyderabad House in New Delhi where Kishida arrived earlier in the day.
“Today, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida invited me to the G7 Leaders’ Summit which will be held in Hiroshima in May. I thank him for this,” Modi said at the joint press statement after the meeting.
Also welcoming Kishida to India, Modi said, “I welcome Japanese PM Fumio Kishida to India. In the last one year, PM Fumio Kishida and I have met several times and every time I’ve felt his positivity and commitment to the India-Japan bilateral relationship. His today’s visit will be beneficial to maintain this momentum.”
The Indian prime minister also said that he will be happy to welcome Kishida in India again in September for the G20 summit. India is currently holding the presidency of the grouping. Similarly, Japan is also holding the presidency of the G7 grouping at the moment.
Kishida’s latest visit to India is focused on boosting bilateral ties in various areas such as defence and security, trade and investment and high technology.
The visiting prime minister also announced during the day that he will unveil his new plan on Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)in India, which he called an “indispensable partner” of Japan.
“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 in a joint press statement after the talks.
Kishida had also tweeted ahead of his departure for India, “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).”
The plan is expected to reveal details of Japan’s policy and approach towards the Indo-Pacific. In the last few years, almost all leading powers have come out with their strategies for the Indo-Pacific. Japan has been pushing for a free and open Indo-Pacific with a view to maintaining and strengthening the rules-based international order in the region.
Kishida is also set to deliver the 41st Sapru House Lecture on the Indo-Pacific policy. It may be mentioned here that Shinzo Abe, the late prime minister of Japan and a close friend of Modi, had initially discussed Indo-Pacific cooperation on his visit to India 15 years ago.
The Japanese prime minister’s visit to India will be for two days.
(With agency inputs)