Japan looking into Kashmir issue carefully

New Delhi: Japan is carefully looking into the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and hopes that a peaceful resolution will be found on the matter through dialogue, country’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, a day after its Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers held a ministerial dialogue with India.

“Regarding Kashmir, I can say it is a situation carefully looked at and we are aware of the long-standing difference in view with of this. We hope the peaceful resolution will be done,” Atsushi Kaifu, the Deputy Press Secretary in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Commenting on Japan’s growing engagement in North East India in terms of the infrastructural development, Kaifu said that the increased connectivity in the said region is necessary for the enhanced connectivity of the Indo-Pacific region.

“Connectivity not just outside India but also inside India is important for the sake of entire connectivity in this region. Japan and India are very much interested in enhancing (connectivity) inside India, including in the northeastern part. We continue to discuss the issues carefully. When it comes to connectivity northeast is also in the target,” Kaifu said.

Kaifu described the inaugural meeting of the India-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) as “fruitful” and said that several regional issues pertaining to Sri Lanka, China, and North Korea, were discussed.

“The ministers discussed international and Regional affairs such as how to promote free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. They exchanged views on North Korea, China and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a common interest of two foreign ministers,” he added.

The 2+2 meeting was held in pursuance of the decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe during the 13th India-Japan Annual Summit held in Japan in October 2018, with an aim to institute a Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue for further deepening bilateral security and defence cooperation.

It provided an opportunity for the two sides to review the status of and exchange further views on strengthening defence and security cooperation between India and Japan so as to provide greater depth to the ‘India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.

Kaifu said that Africa could be the next area of cooperation between the two countries. “Focus areas are security, military cooperation and infrastructure. It is not just limited to Asia but also to Africa. Africa could be the next area of cooperation between the two countries.”