Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida landed in India on Monday for a crucial two-day visit to meet with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi. The visit is part of the annual summit between the two countries and is being viewed as an excellent opportunity to review the bilateral ties between them. This visit gains further significance due to the fact that both India and Japan are currently holding presidencies at critical global forums such as the G20 and G7.
The relationship between India and Japan spans across various critical areas, including defence and security, trade and investment, science and technology, education, healthcare, and emerging technologies. In their upcoming meeting, Prime Minister Kishida and his Indian counterpart are anticipated to delve into matters of global significance, such as food and health security, economic stability, and energy transitions.
During a press briefing held on Thursday, the spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Arindam Bagchi, emphasized the significance of Japan as an essential partner. Bagchi further added that India is eagerly anticipating a thoughtful exchange of ideas between Prime Minister Kishida and his Indian counterpart Modi during their upcoming meeting.
India and Japan share a significant bond of a “Special Strategic and Global Partnership” which has been strengthened through regular annual summits since 2006. Both countries are active members of the Quadrilateral Strategic Dialogue (QUAD) that includes Australia and the US, aimed at building alliances in the Indo-Pacific region to foster an atmosphere of freedom and openness.
The defence cooperation between India and Japan has experienced notable advancements, highlighted by multiple joint military exercises. These include the “Veer Guardian” fighter jet drills conducted in January 2023, along with the inaugural “Dharma Guardian” army exercise held in Japan. In addition, both nations took part in the Joint Naval Exercise (JIMEX) in September, showcasing the strengthening of their bilateral ties through joint maritime training.
Moreover, the bilateral trade between India and Japan stood at USD 20.75 billion last year, which was the largest ever. In addition, a large number of Japanese companies are exploring opportunities in India across several sectors. India and Japan also have an Industrial Competitiveness Partnership (IJICP) under which both countries are cooperating to promote industrial cooperation.
The two countries have also launched a Clean Energy Partnership, which aims to promote energy cooperation between them through diverse and realistic energy transitions utilizing all energy sources and technologies.
The visit of Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to India is a significant opportunity for both countries to review their bilateral ties and discuss how they can work together to address the global challenges of food and health security, energy transitions, and economic stability.