Ways to confront pressing global challenges like rising food and energy prices, ensuring peace and stability in Indo-Pacific and expansion of overall bilateral ties will be key focus of wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida on Monday.
The Japanese prime minister arrived in Delhi at around 8 am on Monday on a nearly 27-hour visit to ramp up bilateral ties in a range of areas and discuss how convergence between India’s presidency of G20 and Japan’s presidency of the G7 can help address various global problems.
On the bilateral front, the two sides are expected to focus on enhancing cooperation in a range of areas, including defence and security, trade and investment and high technologies.
During his visit to India in March last year, Kishida announced an investment target of five trillion Yen (Rs 3,20,000 crore) in India over the next five years.
In a piece in the Indian Express, Kishida mentioned that the international community is at a historic turning point now and identified food security, climate and energy, fair and transparent development as key challenges.
“As Japan and India assumed the presidencies of the G7 and the G20 respectively this year I look forward to engaging in candid discussions with Prime Minister Modi on the roles that the G7 and the G20 should play in overcoming such challenges,” he wrote.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to deepen the multi-layered bilateral relationship between our two countries, which is based on shared values and principles of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” he said.
He said Japan-India relations have advanced in various fields and that Japan would like to further enhance cooperation with India in its “smart city” projects.
The Japanese prime minister is expected to unveil his plan for a “free and open Indo-Pacific” with a focus on India’s increasingly significant role for the region during the visit.
The evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military assertiveness is also likely to figure in the wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Modi and Kishida.
Kishida is expected to unveil his ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Plan for Peace’ during a lecture at a leading think-tank in the afternoon.
The plan is expected to highlight India’s significance for the Indo-Pacific.
Delivering the prestigious Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in June last year, Kishida said he would lay out the plan for Indo-Pacific next spring.
“I will lay out a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Plan for Peace’ by next spring, which will strengthen Japan’s efforts to further promote the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, with an emphasis on providing patrol vessels and enhancing maritime law enforcement capabilities, as well as cyber security, digital and green initiatives, and economic security,” he had said.
The plan is expected to provide 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.