New Delhi [India], March 20 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida discussed ongoing regional and global developments, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said while addressing a press briefing today. He stated that the two leaders spoke about how India, Japan and other like-minded countries work together to address the challenges, particularly in the wider-expanse of Indo-Pacific.
Responding to a question whether Chinese aggression was discussed by two leaders in the meeting, Kwatra said, "The two leaders as I mentioned during the lunch and the meeting also spoke about the ongoing developments in our region and also globally. Naturally, as part of those discussions, they spoke about the challenges that we face in the region. How India and Japan and other like-minded countries can work together to address those challenges and not just focus on challenges, but also focus on cooperation, particularly in the wider-expanse of Indo-Pacific.""How do you take the other countries of the Indo-Pacific together? That is cut across several domains. So, for example, how do you partner within the Indo-Pacific to build resilient and trustworthy supply chains, for example? How do you come together to mitigate some of the challenges that the development template of many of these countries within the Pacific face in terms of debt burdens etc? So all that formed part of a larger, a broad platform of discussion so far in the region, sub-region specifically, and the larger field of Indo-Pacific is concerned," he added.
While addressing the press briefing, Vinay Kwatra said that there was no discussion regarding the expansion of Quad between PM Modi and his Japanese counterpart Kishida. He further said, "All the Quad members are very clear in their mind that Quad needs to undergo a very-very appropriate phase of consolidation before we look to anything other than Quad." Notably, Quad is a strategic security dialogue between Australia, India, Japan and the United States.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called India an "indispensable partner" and said that Japan will expand cooperation for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. While delivering the 41st Sapru House Lecture, Kishida stressed that it is important to lead the international community in the direction of cooperation rather than confrontation and division.
"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," he said while delivering the 41st Sapru House Lecture.
Kishida recalled that former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in 2016 delivered a vision called Free and Open Pacific (FOIP). He said, "Japan will expand cooperation for FOIP. Russia's aggression against Ukraine oblige us to face the most fundamental challenge defending peace." He said that Japan will collaborate closely with India in contributing to stability in the South Asian region.
"I believe that this vision nurtured by the voices of different countries which can be characterised as our Free and Open Indo-Pacific. It's becoming more important than ever towards the goal of leading the International community in the direction of cooperation rather than division and confrontation," Kishida said.
Earlier in the day, Fumio Kishida held a meeting with PM Narendra Modi. Kishida arrived today in New Delhi for a two-day visit to India. (ANI)