Japan, India to hold 2+2 ministerial meeting

New Delhi: Japan has confirmed that a 2+2 dialogue at the ministerial level will be held with India “most likely” in 2019, as the exact dates are yet to be worked out.

Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Assistant Press Secretary, Natsuko Sakata made this announcement, while highlighting that Japan expects a visit from Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon.

The dialogue is most likely to be held between the respective Foreign Ministers and Defence ministers of the two countries. Furthermore, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has also expressed her willingness to hold the meeting at the “earliest” – probably after the impending general elections in India.

Natsuko further highlighted that while economic cooperation has been a driving force in India and Japan relations, cooperation in the fields of defence and security is also making strides.
” Joint exercises are important to have,” Natsuko highlighted.

It was also notified that Japan will further its cooperation with India through a bilateral logistical support agreement, which will be similar to the ones Japan already has with countries like UK, US, France, Canada, amongst others.

“The leaders already discussed that there will be cyber cooperation and space dialogue,” the assistant press secretary noted.

The Japanese official also talked about the outcomes of Prime Ministers Modi’s visit to Japan in 2018, and the follow-up actions taken on the agreed areas of cooperation.

Talks are currently underway on amphibious aircraft between the two nations.

Natsuko also pushed for the process of the high-speed rail project to begin in India. “We believe that agencies in India are handling the issue. It is imp that the process should begin…We believe that it is being dealt with in an appropriate way,” she said.

Consultations are ongoing with regard to the quadrilateral meeting held between India, Japan, Australia, and the USA.

“We see that there was a DG level meeting in Singapore. Consultations continue. At this stage, we want to proceed with some concrete project…We want to move to FM level… but the official level can really help concretise things,” Natsuko said.

“We always see strategic values and interests among the four nations… so whether if it is concretised or not, we are always in contact,” she mentioned.