NEW DELHI: PM Narendra Modi
and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, in a bilateral meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday, discussed regional and global issues, including the Ukraine conflict, called for peaceful resolution of disputes, and underlined the significance of fair and transparent development finance.
The mention of transparent finance of development projects is significant as China comes under increasing scrutiny for what many see as its unconventional, if not irresponsible, debt practices. With perhaps the economic crisis in Sri Lanka in mind, foreign minister S Jaishankar had said in his UN General Assembly address last week that accumulation of debt in fragile economies is of particular concern.
On the Ukraine situation, Japan has been urging India to take a tougher position on Russia’s aggression and work towards convincing Moscow to end the conflict. Unlike Japan, India didn’t specifically mention Ukraine in its statement in the meeting. Modi and Kishida reaffirmed their commitment to work for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Modi was in Tokyo to participate in the state funeral of former PM Shinzo Abe.
“The two leaders had a productive exchange of views on further deepening bilateral relations. The leaders renewed their commitment towards further strengthening the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership, and in working together in the region…,” said the Indian government.
“Along with Abe San, you in the role of foreign minister have taken the India-Japan relationship to new heights and also expanded it further in many areas. And the friendship of India and Japan also played a major role in creating a global impact. And for all this, today, the people of India remember Abe San very much, remember Japan very much. India is always missing him in a way,” Modi told Kishida in the meeting.
“But I am confident that under your leadership, India-Japan relations will deepen further, and scale to greater heights. And I firmly believe that we will be able to play an appropriate role in finding solutions to the problems of the world,” he added. PM conveys condolences to Abe’s wife
PM Modi attended the state funeral of Abe Shinzo in Tokyo, where representatives from over 100 countries, including more than 20 heads of state/governments participated. Modi honoured the memory of former PM Abe, who he considered a dear friend and a great champion of India-Japan partnership, said the government in a statement. Modi had a private meeting with Akie Abe, spouse of Abe, at the Akasaka Palace. “PM Modi conveyed his heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Abe. He recalled his fond friendship and the significant contribution made by former PM Abe in taking India-Japan relationship to new heights. PM also had a brief interaction thereafter with PM Kishida to reiterate his condolences (sic),” said the government.