[Japan], Oct 29 (ANI): India and Japan called upon Pakistan to “bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorist attacks, including those of November 2008 in Mumbai and January 2016 in Pathankot” in a joint statement delivered after bilateral talks on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while speaking at the press conference, declared the 21st century as Asia’s century. He further mentioned that the feat is only achievable through India-Japan cooperation across a number of sectors.
“Without the cooperation of India and Japan, 21st Century cannot be a century of Asia. Abe San and I have agreed to the 2 + 2 Dialogue between our Foreign and Defense Ministers for the purpose to promote peace and stability in the world,” he said.
In his speech, Prime Minister Modi announced an investment of USD 2.5 billion by Japanese investors in India. “We both agree that from digital partnership to cyberspace, health, defence, ocean to space, in every field we will strengthen our partnership. I have been told that today Japan investors have announced that they will invest 2.5 billion US dollars in India,” the Prime Minister said.
The Indian leader also remarked that India-Japan relations are based on the shared commitment for democratic values and freedom, along with the rule of law. He further exclaimed that Japan is the perfect example for the amalgamation of the ancient and the new. “Japan is the confluence of the best aspects of the civilizations of the east and west. This is the great country that has taught that the path of mankind’s development is not a conflict between the ancient and the new, but its coexistence and the creation,” he extolled.
A Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) statement further outlined the leaders’ recognition of the “unparalleled potential for development of relations between the two countries” and reviewed the significant milestones that have been achieved in the last four years and outlined the vision for the future of Indo-Japanese relations.
The statement highlighted the ‘ India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership’, which is the driving force behind India-Japan bilateral relations.
“As the two Prime Ministers resonantly elucidated in the series of SAMVAD dialogues, the universal values of freedom, humanism, democracy, tolerance and non-violence, which have been shared between India and Japan throughout a long history of academic, spiritual and scholarly exchanges, not only constitute the basis for the India-Japan bilateral relationship but also underscore the principles for the two countries to work together for the benefit of the Indo-Pacific region and the world at large,” the statement said.
The statement further said that India and Japan “must endeavour to work together for a rules-based and inclusive world order that fosters trust and confidence by enhancing communication and connectivity to ensure rule of law, unimpeded trade, and flow of people, technology and ideas for shared prosperity”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also recognised the India-Japan relationship as a cornerstone of India’s Act East Policy.
“Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe underscored the basic importance of India-Japan relationship for the regional order and is determined to advancing the “new era in India-Japan relations” so as to further cooperate for peace, stability and prosperity of Indo-Pacific,” the joint vision statement highlighted.
The two Prime Ministers reiterated their unwavering commitment to working together towards a free and open Indo-Pacific, based on their shared vision.
The leaders also affirmed that ASEAN unity and centrality lay at the heart of an inclusive and open Indo-Pacific concept while sharing a willingness to expand cooperation with the United States of America (USA) and “other partners”.
“The two leaders’ vision for the Indo-Pacific is based on a rules-based order that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, ensures freedom of navigation and overflight as well as unimpeded lawful commerce, and seeks peaceful resolution of disputes with full respect for legal and diplomatic processes in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including those reflected in the UNCLOS, without resorting to threat or use of force,” the statement further explained.
They further reaffirmed the strategic importance of the early conclusion of the negotiations for a high-quality, comprehensive and balanced Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement for realising “full benefits of a free and open Indo-Pacific region”, according to the statement.
The leaders also welcomed discussions for establishing the “Platform for Japan-India Business Cooperation in Asia-Africa Region” to further enhance the exchanges between Japanese and Indian businesses “toward developing industrial corridors and industrial network in the region”.
“Prime Minister Modi expressed his appreciation for the significant contribution of Japan’s ODA to the socio-economic development of India. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s intention to continue to support India’s efforts for social and industrial development, including through key quality infrastructure projects and capacity building,” stated the release, while adding that the leaders reviewed the progress made on various joint projects including the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project and the signing of the Exchange of Notes for yen loan.
“India further appreciated Japan’s role in promoting connectivity through quality infrastructure projects such as the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor,” the statement read, while mentioning that “The two Prime Ministers welcomed the progress made for the development of India’s North Eastern Region through the India-Japan Act East Forum by identifying and implementing projects for enhancing connectivity, sustainable forest and ecological management, disaster risk reduction and people-to-people exchanges. They also highlighted the importance of the development of smart islands in India”.
The two leaders also agreed to start a bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway programme on a pilot basis in certain identified fields of inventions in the first quarter of the financial year 2019.
The Prime Ministers also “remain committed to synergising India’s demographic dividend and Japan’s capital and technology to realise the true potential of the India-Japan economic partnership for a prosperous future”.
They also welcomed the expansion of Japan’s Foreign Direct Investment in India under the “India-Japan Investment Promotion Partnership”, while acknowledging the progress made in projects included in the ‘Japan-India Roadmap for Investment Promotion’.
The Governments of Japan and India welcomed the agreement to conclude a Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) of USD 75 billion, in the joint statement, while highlighting that no mandatory hedging will be required for infrastructure ECB of more than 5 years minimum average maturity with regard to External Commercial Borrowing (ECB).
The leaders also welcomed the launch of a comprehensive ‘India-Japan Digital Partnership’. “This will bring about a convergence between India’s flagship programmes such as “Digital India”, “Start-Up India” and “Smart City” with Japan’s “Society 5.0” to promote societal benefits. Both sides will encourage and support the creation of funds to invest in start-ups in India with participation by Japanese stakeholders,” read the statement.
Both the leaders also welcomed the linking of Japan’s Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative (AHWIN) with India’s healthcare initiatives like Ayushman Bharat and agreed to exchange more information and work towards cooperation in the areas of Ayurveda and Yoga.
“Both leaders also welcomed the progress made by the two sides in taking forward the bilateral cooperation in agriculture, food processing and forestry among various public and private stakeholders which would improve productivity of agriculture and decrease harvest and post-harvest losses,” the release said while highlighting that efforts will be made to ease two-way flows between the nation in people-to-people exchanges.
The Prime Ministers further reviewed various joint projects in the area of Peace and Defence.
The leaders also acknowledged the deepening of maritime security cooperation, including the Malabar exercises and high frequency of bilateral naval exercises.
Both the leaders further reaffirmed to promote interaction between Indian and Japanese defence industries and relevant authorities, and also welcomed the commencement of the cooperative research in the area of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and Robotics, while mentioning that the two sides will continue to make efforts with regard to cooperation on US-2 amphibian aircraft.
The leaders also decided to launch an Annual Space Dialogue for enhancing bilateral cooperation in outer-space, while welcoming the technological collaboration between their respective agencies in the Joint Lunar Polar Exploration Mission.
Prime Ministers Modi and Abe also welcomed the recent developments in the Korean Peninsula and underscored the importance of North Korea’s dismantlement of “all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs), and the importance of addressing concerns related to North Korea’s proliferation linkages”.
The leaders also urged North Korea to address the earliest resolution of the abductions issue.
Both the leaders further reaffirmed their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons, while remaining resolute in the task of strengthening international cooperation to address the challenges of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.
The Prime Ministers also condemned “in the strongest terms” the growing threat of terrorism and its universal reach. The leaders called upon countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels, and halting cross-border movement of terrorists.
The leaders also looked forward to strengthening cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including “Al-Qaida, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lakshar-e-Tayyiba, and their affiliates”.
They also called for an expeditious comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), “to make it more legitimate, effective and representative, taking into account the contemporary realities of the 21st century”.
The two Prime Ministers committed themselves to strengthen environmental partnership in areas such as pollution control, sustainable biodiversity management, chemical and waste management, climate change and wastewater management, utilizing the cooperation framework between their relevant authorities.
They also shared a view to play a leading role in global action to combat climate change while reiterating the commitment “to finalising the work programme for implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerate further consultations for establishing the Joint Crediting Mechanism”.
The “Japan-India Energy Transition Cooperation Plan” was also welcomed by both the leaders, who reinforced their commitment to strengthening cooperation on sustainable and clean forms of energy. They also acknowledged the importance of effective implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, in areas such as early warning mechanism, and water resource management.
The leaders also outlined the need for an urgent World Trade Organisation (WTO) reform, while recommitting themselves to “resisting protectionism including all unfair trade practices and underlined the need to remove trade-distorting measures”.
Prime Minister Modi further wished Japan luck for hosting the Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo, the G-20 summit in Osaka in 2019 and Rugby World Cup in 2019, before thanking Prime Minister Abe in Japanese for hosting him at the end of the press conference.
32 documents were announced/exchanged in the presence of Prime Minister Modi and his Japanese counterpart, underscoring the growing convergence in political, economic and strategic interests. (ANI)