As Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to arrive in India for a two-day trip on Monday, the leader’s visit to the national capital is seen as a great opportunity to review the bilateral ties between the two countries. Since the last Summit meeting held in March 2022 between India and Japan, now is a significant time to engage on a bilateral level as both New Delhi and Tokyo are holding the Presidencies of the G20 and G7, respectively.
The partnership between both countries ranges in multiple areas like defence and security, trade and investment, S&T, Education, healthcare, and critical and emerging technologies. During Kishida’s visit to India, converging interests on important global challenges, such as food and health security, energy transitions, and economic stability, can be worked on by the two nations.
In a press briefing on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Japan is a “very important partner”, and he stressed that India looks forward to the exchange of views. “We look forward to the visit of the honourable Prime Minister of Japan that’s on Monday. As you know, Japan is our very important partner. We have annual summits with them and this is part of that. They are also partners in plurilateral and multilateral constructs so we look forward to a rich discussion. We look forward to the exchange of views,” the MEA spokesperson had said. “Prime Minister had gone to Japan last year.
Prime Minister Kishida had come here so we look forward to taking forward those discussions but what will be the talking points, what will be the outcomes let the leaders talk about it. I think it’s pretty far too soon to judge that,” Arindam Bagchi said. However, he did not reveal details regarding the talking points of the discussion that will take place between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart. Japanese PM Fumio Kishida will visit India from March 20-21. During the visit, he will hold a meeting with PM Narendra Modi.
The two leaders will discuss bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest, the Ministry of External Affairs said in an official release on March 10. India and Japan share ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’. India-Japan relations were elevated to ‘Global Partnership’ in 2000, ‘Strategic and Global Partnership’ in 2006, and ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’ in 2014. Regular Annual Summits have been held between India and Japan since 2006 (the last Annual Summit was held in March 2022 in New Delhi). Japan is a very close partner with which we have both an Annual Summit and a 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting. with which India has an Annual Summit and a 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting.
New Delhi and Tokyo are also a part of the Quadrilateral Strategic Dialogue (QUAD), alongside Australia and the US. It is a strategic security dialogue between Australia, India, Japan and the United States that is maintained by talks between member countries. The Quad is dedicated to working with regional allies who support a free and open Indo-Pacific. Furthermore, the Defense cooperation between the two nations has also emerged as one of the key areas of engagement.
The successful conduct of the first fighter jet exercise “Veer Guardian” in January 2023 in Japan between our two countries was a significant milestone. This was followed closely by the 4th “Dharma Guardian” army exercise, which was conducted for the first time in Japan. Maritime security cooperation including Navy-to-Navy cooperation has seen significant progress with a large number of exercises being conducted. In November last year, India took part in the International Fleet Review in Japan and the Malabar exercise off the Coast of Japan.
This was preceded by the JIMEX between our two navies in September. In terms of commercial and economic ties, the bilateral trade between India and Japan stood at USD 20.75 billion last year, which was the largest ever. Japan is also the 5th largest investor in India as a large number of Japanese companies are exploring opportunities in India in several sectors. Moreover, India and Japan have an Industrial Competitiveness Partnership (IJICP) under which both countries are cooperating to promote industrial cooperation between the two countries.
A Roadmap under IJICP (India-Japan Industrial Competitiveness Partnership) was launched at the Annual Summit held in New Delhi in March 2022. The meeting of the IJICP took place in Tokyo on 28 February 2023. The meeting was co-chaired by the Secretary, of DPIIT from the Indian side and the Vice Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry from the Japanese side. Japan and India launched a Clean Energy Partnership during the Annual Summit held last year. It aims to promote energy cooperation between Japan and India through diverse and realistic energy transitions utilizing all energy sources and technologies to ensure energy security, carbon neutrality and economic growth.