Published: Tue, October 30, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

PM Modi in Japan

PM Modi in Japan

India is one of the countries that Japan has reached out to form defense partnerships, as Tokyo seeks to expand its military cooperation beyond its traditional alliance with the US amid China's increasingly assertive military presence in the region.

In a joint statement issued at the end of a bilateral summit meeting in Tokyo between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, India and Japan agreed to begin formal negotiations over a so-called acquisition and cross-servicing agreement (ACSA), which would allow the Indian military and the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) to use each other's bases for logistical support.

The Japanese prime minister also said he would like to strengthen bilateral cooperation to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific. Hindustan Times delivers the news across all social media platforms, on the web, and at your doorstep.

The two leaders have made reciprocal visits since 2014.

Till now, the 2+2 dialogue between India and Japan was held at the vice-ministerial level. Japan is funding 80% of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project through a soft loan of Rs 79,000 crore at an interest rate of 0.1%, with a tenure stretching over 50 years and a moratorium period of 15 years.

Mr Modi said, India had successfully organized FIFA Under- 17 World Cup last year and this year Hockey World Cup 2018 is being organized at Bhubaneswar.

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Although a proposed "quad" regional defense initiative between democracies Australia, India, Japan and the United State seems stuck in stasis, Japan and India sit on the eastern and western flanks of an expansive China, and are upping defense cooperation. PM Modi said he is confident that this visit will add new vigour to the strong friendship between India and Japan.

In an interview with Kyodo News on Friday in New Delhi, Modi said his two days of discussions with Abe "will be an opportunity to review our ongoing cooperation and discuss ways for expanding our relationship for promoting peace, progress and prosperity throughout the Indo-Pacific region and beyond". On Sunday, he was invited to Abe's vacation home at a scenic resort in the shadow of Mount Fuji.

Abe and Modi are also likely to agree to expand the two countries' cooperation in the medical field and boost exchanges in various areas. "I have been told that today Japan investors have announced that they will invest 2.5 billion USA dollars in India", he said at the joint briefing.

Since 2005, Japanese and Indian prime ministers have held summit talks nearly annually.

Earlier today, PM Modi addressed a gathering of industry captains from Japan and India in Tokyo, where he pitched India as an ideal investment destination for Japanese investors.

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