Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday said that Japan will expand cooperation for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific and added that it is important to lead the international community in the direction of cooperation rather than confrontation and division.
Delivering the 41st Sapru House lecture, Kishida also called India an indispensable partner for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
“India is an indispensable partner and I believe India and Japan are in an extremely unique position in the current international relations and further in the history of the world. India is the largest democracy in the world. I have always viewed with great respect the way such a huge and diverse country as India has developed a democracy,” Japanese PM Kishida said.
He also said that India’s G20 presidency will bring peace and prosperity to the international community which faces a time of challenges.
“This year as Japan hosts the G7 presidency and India hosts the G20 presidency, it’s my hope that by working together with ASEAN and many other countries, we will bring peace and prosperity to the international community which faces a time of challenges and the vision for achieving it is Free and Open Indo-Pacific which is based on rule of law,” the Japanese PM said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has referred to the India-Japan relationship as being one of the most natural partnerships in the region, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said in a press briefing.
“We also announce 2023 as the India-Japan year of tourism. PM Modi express his desire with PM Kishida to declare the next year as the year of Youth Exchanges between the two countries,” Kwatra said.
The Foreign Secretary also said that Japanese PM Fumio Kishida formally invited Prime Minister Modi to G-7 Hiroshima Summit and PM Modi has accepted the invitation.
PM Modi gifted his Japanese counterpart a Sandalwood Buddha Statue from Karnataka in Kadamwood Jali Box. The art of sandalwood carving is an exquisite and ancient craft that has been practised in Karnataka for centuries.
Kishida also said that Japan will collaborate closely with India in contributing to stability in the South Asian region.
He also condemned the Russian aggression in Ukraine and said that PM Modi also told Russian President Putin that “Today’s era is not of war.”
“I reiterate that Japan strongly condemns Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and will never recognize it. PM Modi too expressed to President Putin that today’s era is not of war. Japan opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo by force anywhere in the world,” he added.
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