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'Agreed on Need for Free and Open Indo-Pacific Region': PM Modi Speaks to Japan Counterpart

Photos of PM Modi and his Japan counterpart.

Photos of PM Modi and his Japan counterpart.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Suga Yoshihide concurred that the partnership between India and Japan was even more relevant in today’s times amid the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges it brought on.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday congratulated his Japanese counterpart Suga Yoshihide on his appointment during a telephonic conversation. The leaders talked on a range of issues including the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project and ways to deepen cooperation for a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Yoshihide was elected to the role after the resignation of former PM Shinzo Abe.

Modi wished Yoshihide success in achieving his goals. The two leaders agreed that the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership had "great advances" over the last few years, a press release by the PMO stated. They also expressed their intention to further strengthen the relationship based upon "mutual trust and shared values".

Modi and Yoshihide concurred that the partnership between India and Japan was even more relevant in today’s times amid the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges it brought on.

The leaders agreed that the economic architecture of a "free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region" must be premised on resilient supply chains. For this, they welcomed cooperation between India, Japan and other like-minded countries, the release said.

The PMs discussed the progress made in nations' economic partnership and sought the the finalisation of the text of the agreement regarding specialised skilled workers. Modi invited his counterpart to visit the country for the Annual Bilateral Summit, after the situation due to Covid-19 improved in the future.

In a statement, the Japanese foreign ministry said Suga expressed his intention to promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of security and economy, and to work with India towards achieving a "free and open Indo-Pacific".

The India-Japan relationship had witnessed major expansion under Abe's leadership. The Japanese foreign ministry said Suga also stated that he would like to promote cooperation with India under multilateral frameworks such as Japan-Australia-India-US coalition. It said the two prime ministers affirmed their intention to steadily advance the high-speed rail project.

"The two prime ministers also welcomed that the Memorandum of Cooperation on specified skilled workers would be signed in the near future, and affirmed their intention to facilitate people-to-people exchanges," it added.

"Had a very good conversation with PM Suga Yoshihide. We exchanged views on the tremendous progress in our relationship in the last few years, and the future direction of our Special Strategic and Global Partnership," Modi said in a tweet, later.

The PM reiterated on Twitter the leaders' agreement to stronger India-Japan ties and how they would would help meet the challenges of the current regional and global situation. "I look forward to working with PM Suga to further strengthen our all-round partnership," Modi added.


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