India and Japan initiate policy discussions to strengthen bilateral ties

Tokyo: ‘Both India and Japan are pro-democratic countries. Therefore, both the countries abide by the international laws and respect the sovereignty and regional integrity,’ Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono pronounced the freedom of navigation in the region with this statement. Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is currently on her Japanese visit and she participated in the policy discussions with Japan. The joint statement issued thereafter by the Foreign Ministers of both the countries, expressed the resolve to work together on the issue of free and open ‘Indo Pacific’ region.

India-JapanThis is the 9th policy discussion between India and Japan. As expected, the region from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean was referred to as the ‘Indo-Pacific’ region. Japanese Foreign Minister assured that India and Japan will work together to make this region free and open along with ensuring the stability and safety of the region. Foreign Minister Kono taunted China saying, both the countries being democratic, they respect the International rules, sovereignty and regional integrity.

India has increased its attention to the eastern countries and has converted its ‘Look East’ policy into ‘Act East’. Taro Kono expressed an expectation that the Indian ‘Act East’ policy should be in tandem with the free and open Indo Pacific Policy. Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj informed that important regional and international issues were discussed in the bilateral talks with the Japanese Foreign Minister. India is becoming the fastest growing economy in the world. Swaraj claimed that Japan has proved to be a very important partner of India at time when the Indian economy is progressing at a great speed.

Swaraj pointed out that Japan is cooperating on a large scale in Indian schemes like Smart Cities, Digital India and Start-up India. Swaraj expressed satisfaction about the excellent communication developing between the citizens of India and Japan. The joint statement denounced terrorism in very strong words. Both the countries have expressed willingness to work on the climate change crisis.

India and Japan have signed two agreements at this time. These include Mumbai Metro line Project and a project in Chennai. An agreement for development of the North-Eastern States was also signed. The development of cooperation between India and Japan is considered a natural phenomenon in view of the increased Chinese bullying in the Indo-Pacific region. It has become clear that China considers the strengthening of India-Japan cooperation, a threat to itself. But India and Japan have asserted from time to time that this cooperation is not against any third country.

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