Japan and India announce to increase bilateral cooperation in various areas

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Japanese PM Fumio Kishida visits India

Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Fumio Kishida was on an official visit to India to meet with Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi. Prime Minister Kishida arrived in New Delhi of 20 March, 2023.

Japan is one of the very few countries with which India has a system of Annual Summits. In 2014, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi made his first bilateral visit outside India’s immediate neighbourhood to Japan. During that visit, the India-Japan relationship was upgraded to a Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
Guided by strong political will on both sides, the partnership has made significant progress in the last few years, covering the entire gamut of mutual engagement as witnessed in the growing convergence of political, strategic and economic interests. In fact, Prime Minister Modi has referred to the India-Japan relationship as being one of the most natural partnerships in the region. India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership, built on the shared values of democracy, freedom and respect for rule of law, is crucial for fostering peace, prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

2023 is a pivotal year for both India and Japan as chairs of the two major international groupings – India as the President of the G20 and Japan as the Chair of G7. Through G20 presidency, India is working with partner countries, including Japan to provide greater voice to issues of interest to developing countries, in particular the countries of the Global South, about which we have spoken in the past briefings also.

When Prime Minister Kishida arrived in New Delhi, he went to Rajghat to pay his tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. The two Prime Ministers then arrived at Hyderabad House for Delegation-level talks and delivered the press statements. It was followed by a Restricted Lunch Meeting between the two. Both of them later visited the Buddha Jayanti Park where they visited the Bal Bodhi tree.

Through these talks, the two leaders have held substantive discussions which is corresponding and commensurate with the depth and expanse of India-Japan engagement.

Key topics that were discussed during the meeting, key topics of bilateral cooperation, included the domain of Defense and Security, Economic Partnership, Climate & Energy – including energy transition, People-to-People exchanges, Skill Development, Innovation.

Prime Minister explained at length India’s priorities for G20 and he heard in turn Prime Minister Kishida’s priorities and Japan’s priorities for G7. These two also formed an important component of bilateral conversation.

In terms of concrete outcomes of the visit, there were two documents that were signed on the sidelines. One was renewal of Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on Japanese Language that was originally signed in 2017 essentially focussing on higher level language learning. And second document which was signed was Exchange of Notes for the 4th tranche instalment of JICA ODA Loan of JPY 300 Billion on Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway Project, roughly INR 18,000 crores. We also announced 2023 as “India-Japan Year of Tourism”.

PM Kishida invited Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for the G7 Summit in Hiroshima in May this year. PM Modi has accepted the invitation.