Japan, India to work to elevate special strategic and global partnership

Gandhinagar: Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Thursday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe discussed a slew of issues, trying to align each other’s approach towards the world.

Jaishankar said the two Prime Ministers mulled how to elevate the level of the special strategic and global partnership between the two countries.

He also informed that the leaders of the two nations discussed the menace of terrorism and steps to be taken to uproot it.

“Japan has expressed zero tolerance towards terrorism. And we agreed on rooting out safe havens disrupting terrorist network, financing channels and halting cross-border movement of terrorist,” Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar further said that major discussions on the strengthening defence and security cooperation were also held between the two heads.

“Many of the discussions revolved around strengthening defence and security cooperation. In defence and security cooperation, the thrust has been on the maritime security. We also agreed to explore cooperation and exchanges between the army and Japan’s ground self defence force, this also involved cooperation between Air Force and Japan’s Air Self Defence Force,” he said.

“There were discussions on defence cooperation including technology cooperation, equipment cooperation and US-2 amphibian aircraft,” he added.

Jaishankar further said that ‘connectivity’ was one of the main issues discussed between the two leaders.

“Connectivity was the second big thing. And there was greater focus on Africa, we do the IAFS and the Japanese have TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development). There were two interests within India. One was, we agreed to work in much more substantive way on the north-east, to that we agreed upon ‘Japan-India’ act east forum, which will essentially explore the possibilities of involving Japan in the development of the north-east intra-structure. This will help us open out much more to Myanmar, Bangladesh and beyond,” he said.

Elaborating on the discussion on economic issue, Jaishankar said, “Coming to economic issues, railways was the centre peace of this visit. Japan has also been helping out with safety issues. We even had a team here last month in the regard. Japan has been involved in most of the flagship programs as well.”

“We are looking at language programs, internships programs, human development programs,” he added.

Highlighting VISA issues, the Indian Foreign Secretary said that Japan has agreed to ponder over our requirements.

“There were some discussions about the VISA requirements. The Japanese side showed interest in encouraging more Indian tourism,” he said.

Meanwhile, elucidating on global, regional and political issues, Jaishankar said, “On ASEAN, both the countries agreed that the unity of the ASEAN to the regional architecture was very important.”

Whereas, in terms of obtaining peace and stability in the Indo-pacific region India and Japan both highlighted importance of navigation.

Discussing North Korea, Jaishankar said Japanese underlined their concern in strong terms.

“Both of us agreed on the importance of holding accountable all parties that have supported North-Korea nuclear and missile programs,” he said. (ANI)