Tuesday, September26,2023

Japan's Foreign Minister Hails India as Crucial Partner for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific

In a significant display of bilateral cooperation, Japan's foreign minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, emphasized India's indispensable role in achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Speaking at the second India-Japan Forum organized by the external affairs ministry, Hayashi regarded India as a natural partner in tackling challenges across various domains, including the economy and emerging technologies.

During the forum, the two ministers discussed methods to enhance Japanese investments in India and further strengthen defense collaboration. Hayashi, who began his three-nation tour with India, followed by visits to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, expressed Japan's intent to deepen cooperation with India across all areas.
Drawing on Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's unveiling of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) vision during his March visit to India, Hayashi emphasized Japan's commitment to deepening ties with India. The FOIP plan signified the critical importance Japan places on India's partnership in achieving shared goals.
Hayashi highlighted that both Japan and India concur on the necessity of fostering cooperation rather than division and confrontation, especially amidst pressing global challenges such as Russia's aggression against Ukraine.
Praising India's G20 presidency and its focus on the Global South, Hayashi stressed the significance of upholding a rules-based international order, particularly in addressing the challenges faced by developing countries. He also touched upon food security concerns arising from Russia's actions in Ukraine.
The foreign minister acknowledged the progress made by India and Japan in cyber and space initiatives, with discussions underway for substantial cooperation in defense equipment and technology.
In his address, India's External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, highlighted key global challenges, including artificial intelligence, reliable supply chains, digital domain trust, and upholding democratic values. He underlined India and Japan as natural partners in jointly addressing these issues and emphasized the strength of their bilateral relationship.
Hayashi further discussed Japan's plans to revise its Development Cooperation Charter, with a focus on building quality infrastructure in India, including high-speed rail and urban transportation.
Responding to a query about the two countries' collaboration in the face of crises like a conflict on the India-China border or the Taiwan Strait, Jaishankar emphasized the significance of building strong peacetime cooperation as a basis for managing challenging situations effectively.
Both ministers stressed the importance of bolstering cooperation in economic, digital, technological, and maritime security domains to contribute to peace, stability, and security.
The India-Japan security cooperation, including joint military exercises, along with economic collaboration, strengthens relations, making any adverse scenarios less likely.