India, Japan call for a "peaceful, stable and prosperous post-COVID world"
New Delhi, Mar 19: Prime Minister of Japan H.E. Kishida Fumio, who is on a brief trip to india held an extensive bilateral to talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
Reaffirming the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan, the Prime Ministers concurred that the shared values and principles enunciated in the India-Japan Vision Statement issued in 2018 are particularly relevant in the present context, where global cooperation is required more than ever to address challenges that have become more acute.
They highlighted their commitment to working in tandem towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous world, based on a rules-based order that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, and emphasized the need for all countries to seek peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law without resorting to threat or use of force or any attempt to unilaterally change status quo. In this regard, they reaffirmed their common vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, free from coercion.
They shared the view that the economies of both countries in such a world would be powered by robust bilateral investment and trade flows through diversified, resilient, transparent, open, secure and predictable global supply chains that provide for economic security and prosperity of their peoples. Reaffirming that the two countries would continue to work together to realize these shared objectives, they resolved to further advance the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
Partnership for A Free and Open Indo-Pacific underpinned by Inclusiveness and Rules-based order
The Prime Ministers appreciated the significant progress made in security and defence cooperation and reaffirmed their desire to further deepen it. They welcomed the holding of the first 2+2 meeting of their Foreign and Defence Ministers in November 2019 in New Delhi and instructed their Ministers to hold the second meeting at the earliest opportunity in Tokyo.
They also welcomed the operationalization of the Agreement Concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Indian Armed Forces. They expressed their commitment to continuing bilateral and multilateral exercises including "Dharma Guardian" and "Malabar" respectively, while welcoming the participation of Japan for the first time in exercise MILAN, as well as making efforts to increase their complexity in the future.
They reaffirmed the decision to proceed with coordination for the inaugural fighter exercise between the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Indian Air Force and welcomed the efforts to hold the exercise at the earliest. They acknowledged ongoing collaboration in the area of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and Robotics and directed their Ministers to further identify concrete areas for future cooperation in the area of defence equipment and technology.
With their commitment to promoting peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, the Prime Ministers affirmed the importance of bilateral and plurilateral partnerships among like-minded countries of the region, including the quadrilateral cooperation among Australia, India, Japan, and the United States (the Quad).
They welcomed the Quad Leaders' Summits in March and September 2021 and renewed their commitment to delivering tangible outcomes on the Quad's positive and constructive agenda, especially on COVID vaccines, critical and emerging technologies, climate action, infrastructure coordination, cybersecurity, space and education. They looked forward to advancing Quad cooperation through the next Quad Leaders' Summit in Japan in the coming months.
Prime Minister Kishida welcomed the Indo-Pacific Oceans' Initiative (IPOI) announced by Prime Minister Modi in 2019. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the growing space for cooperation between the IPOI and Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). India appreciated Japan's participation as a lead partner on the connectivity pillar of IPOI. They reiterated their strong support for ASEAN's unity and centrality and their full support for the "ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)" which upholds the principles such as the rule of law, openness, freedom, transparency and inclusiveness.
The Prime Ministers emphasised that India and Japan, as two leading powers in the Indo-Pacific region, had a shared interest in the safety and security of the maritime domain, freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded lawful commerce and peaceful resolution of disputes with full respect for legal and diplomatic processes in accordance with international law.
They reaffirmed their determination to continue prioritizing the role of international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and facilitate collaboration, including in maritime security, to meet challenges against the rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas. They emphasized the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint.
They further called for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the early conclusion of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, especially UNCLOS, without prejudice to the rights and interests of all nations including those not party to these negotiations.
The Prime Ministers condemned North Korea's destabilising ballistic missile launches in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs). They reaffirmed their commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea consistent with the relevant UNSCRs, and the importance of addressing concerns related to North Korea's proliferation linkages. They urged North Korea to fully comply with its international obligations under the relevant UNSCRs, and to immediately resolve the abductions issue.
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their intention to collaborate closely to realise peace and stability in Afghanistan, and stressed the importance of addressing humanitarian crisis, promoting human rights and ensuring establishment of a truly representative and an inclusive political system.
They also reaffirmed the importance of UNSCR 2593 (2021) which unequivocally demands that Afghan territory not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing terrorist acts and called for concerted action against all terrorist groups, including those sanctioned by the UNSC.
The Prime Ministers expressed deep concern at the growing threat of terrorism and underlined the need for strengthening international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner. They called upon all countries to work together for rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing channels, and halting cross-border movement of terrorists.
In this context, they also called upon all countries to ensure that territory under their control is not used to launch terror attacks, to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks. They reiterated their condemnation of terrorist attacks in India, including 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot attacks and called upon Pakistan to take resolute and irreversible action against terrorist networks operating out of its territory and comply fully with international commitments including to FATF. They also concurred to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts in multilateral fora, and to work together on early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in the United Nations.
The Prime Ministers remained concerned about the situation in Myanmar and called for an end to violence, the release of all those detained and a return to the path of democracy. They reaffirmed their support for ASEAN efforts to seek a solution in Myanmar, and welcomed Cambodia's active engagement as ASEAN chair to break the deadlock. They called on Myanmar to urgently implement ASEAN's Five-Point Consensus.
The Prime Ministers expressed their serious concern about the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and assessed its broader implications, particularly to the Indo-Pacific region. They emphasized that the contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. They underscored the importance of safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine and acknowledged active efforts of the IAEA towards it.
They reiterated their call for an immediate cessation of violence and noted that there was no other choice but the path of dialogue and diplomacy for resolution of the conflict. The Leaders affirmed that they would undertake appropriate steps to address the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Prime Minister Kishida congratulated India on its successful Presidency of the UN Security Council in August 2021 including Prime Minister Modi's chairmanship of the UNSC at the High-Level Open Debate on "Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Maritime Security".
Prime Minister Modi reiterated India's support for Japan's candidature for a non-permanent seat at the UNSC for the term 2023-2024, to which Prime Minister Kishida expressed his appreciation. They concurred to continue to work closely on matters in the UNSC during the respective tenures of India and Japan. The Prime Ministers resolved to continue to work closely together for an early reform of the UNSC to reflect the contemporary realities of the 21st century. They expressed their determination to accelerate its process, including through the commencement of text-based negotiations in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) with an overall objective to achieve concrete outcomes in a fixed timeframe. They reaffirmed their shared recognition that India and Japan are legitimate/deserving candidates for permanent membership in an expanded UNSC.
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons and remained resolute in the task of strengthening international cooperation to address the challenges of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. Prime Minister Kishida stressed the importance of early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
They called for an immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral, and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) in the Conference on Disarmament on the basis of Shannon Mandate. They pledged to continue working together for India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, with the aim of strengthening the global non-proliferation efforts.
Partnership for Sustainable Growth in a post-COVID World
The Prime Ministers reiterated that India and Japan would continue to contribute to global efforts to combat COVID-19 and to protecting the lives and livelihoods of people. They welcomed the progress made under the Quad Vaccine Partnership to enhance equitable access to safe and effective vaccines in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. Prime Minister Modi expressed his appreciation for the support extended by Japan to efforts of the Government of India to combat COVID-19 and provide social protection.
Prime Minister Kishida praised India's initiatives in the fight against COVID-19, especially in ensuring a supply of medicines and medical equipment and providing safe and effective vaccines through the Vaccine Maitri initiative. They reaffirmed their commitment to achieve the health-related SDGs, in particular universal health coverage, and to strengthen global health architecture, including the leading and coordinating role of the World Health Organization and its reform.
The Prime Ministers, building on the outcome of COP26, recognized the importance and imminence of tackling climate change, and shared the importance of various pathways for pragmatic energy transitions reflecting different national circumstances and constant innovation to achieving global net-zero emission. They welcomed the launch of the India-Japan Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) for cooperation towards achieving sustainable economic growth, addressing climate change and ensuring energy security, in areas such as electric vehicles (EV), storage systems including batteries, electric vehicle charging infrastructure (EVCI), solar energy, clean including green hydrogen/ammonia, wind energy, exchange of views on respective energy transition plans, energy efficiency, CCUS (Carbon dioxide Capturing, Utilization and Storage) and Carbon Recycling. They committed to continue further discussion for establishing the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) between India and Japan for the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
They also reaffirmed their determination to promote environmental cooperation in other areas. In this regard, they welcomed the signing of the MoC for cooperation in decentralized domestic wastewater management. Prime Minister Modi conveyed appreciation for the past and ongoing Japanese cooperation for smart cities missions in Varanasi, Ahmedabad and Chennai, and looked forward to further cooperation in this field. Prime Minister Kishida commended India's initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and conveyed that Japan would be joining the Indian-Swedish climate initiative LeadIT to promote heavy industry transition. They welcomed the signing of the MoC on Sustainable Urban Development.
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to upholding and strengthening the rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core, and to work closely with each other to achieve meaningful outcomes in the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12). They shared their opposition to coercive economic policies and practices that run counter to this system and committed to work collectively to foster global economic resilience against such actions.
The Prime Ministers noted with appreciation that since elevation of ties to a Special Strategic and Global Partnership, there had been significant growth in economic cooperation. They expressed satisfaction that the investment target of JPY 3.5 trillion announced in 2014 has been achieved. Noting steps taken by India to improve the business environment for Japanese investors in India, as well as other measures to boost economic growth and improve ease of doing business, they expressed their shared intention to realize JPY 5 trillion of public and private investment and financing from Japan to India in the next five years, to finance appropriate public and private projects of mutual interest.
Prime Minister Modi expressed his appreciation for various initiatives taken by Japan to strengthen economic cooperation with India. In this context, the Prime Ministers recalled the establishment of the India-Japan Industrial Competitiveness Partnership (IJICP) in November 2021 and welcomed the formulation of a Roadmap under the IJICP, to further promote industrial cooperation between the two countries including in the areas of MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), manufacturing and supply chains.
They also confirmed to work together towards reliable, resilient, efficient supply chains in the region and welcomed the progress in this regard in areas such as sharing of best practices. They emphasized the importance of collaboration to address illicit technology transfers, build resilient supply chains and strengthen the protection of critical infrastructure, including through the Quad.
They welcomed the renewal of their bilateral currency swap agreement of USD 75 billion. They recognized the need for enhancing bilateral trade and welcomed the amendment promoting trade of fish surimi between India and Japan under India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
Stressing the importance of promoting trade and investment between the two countries, they encouraged further review of the implementation of CEPA through existing mechanisms. They welcomed India's approval of imports of Japanese apples and relaxation of procedures of Indian mango exports to Japan.
The Prime Ministers recognized that digital technologies would play an increasingly important role in the post-COVID world and welcomed the growing cooperation under the India-Japan Digital Partnership with a view to enhancing digital economy through promotion of joint projects for digital transformation, support to provide opportunities for Indian IT professionals to work in Japan and Japanese companies, and collaboration made in the area of IoT, AI and other emerging technologies.
In this regard, Prime Minister Kishida looked forward to attracting more highly skilled Indian IT professionals to contribute to the Japanese ICT sector. They also welcomed the progress on the "India-Japan fund-of-funds" to mobilize funds for emerging Indian start-ups. Welcoming the signing of MoCs in the fields of Cybersecurity and ICT, they appreciated progress in the bilateral relationship in cyber domain and affirmed to further deepen cyber engagement with each other in multilateral fora, including in the United Nations.
They shared the view to further cooperate in various fields like 5G, Open RAN, Telecom Network Security, submarine cable systems, and Quantum Communications. They welcomed the progress of bilateral cooperation in the field of science and technology, including through the holding of the 10th Meeting of the India-Japan Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation in November 2020, and looked forward to the joint lunar research project. They reaffirmed the commitment to strengthen the efforts so that the vision for technologies, guided by the Quad Principles on Technology Design, Development, Governance, and Use, would be further shared by all like-minded nations.
Prime Minister Modi appreciated Japan's support for India's socio-economic development over the years. The Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the exchange of notes concerning seven yen loan projects in which Japan provides over 300 billion yen (over INR 20400 crores) in total. The Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction on the progress in the flagship bilateral cooperation project of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR).
They affirmed that this project was an important symbol of India-Japan collaboration and would lead to transfer of technology which would further enhance the capacity of railways in India. They reaffirmed that they would work together for the commencement of operations at the earliest possible timing. Prime Minister Modi appreciated Japan's cooperation on the MAHSR and various Metro Projects in India and looked forward to the planned preparatory survey for the Patna Metro.
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the significance of collaborative projects between India and Japan in the Indo-Pacific region. They acknowledged the progress in ongoing projects in Bangladesh and looked forward to exploring expansion of such cooperation to ASEAN, Pacific island countries and others. They appreciated the importance of their continued collaboration through the Act East Forum (AEF) for sustainable economic development of India's North Eastern Region and for enhancing the Region's connectivity with Southeast Asia.
They welcomed the launch of the "India-Japan Initiative for Sustainable Development of the North Eastern Region of India", which includes "Initiative for Strengthening the Bamboo Value Chain in the North East" and cooperation in health care, forest resources management, connectivity and tourism in different states of the North Eastern Region.
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their resolve to make the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership more robust and complementary in view of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2022 through people-to-people exchanges, tourism and sports.
They welcomed the opening of the Rudraksha Convention Centre in Varanasi as a symbol of India-Japan friendship. They appreciated the progress made in Japanese language education and training in India and decided to expand this initiative through the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) scheme.
They reaffirmed the importance of strengthening cooperation in the area of skill development and creation of employment opportunities. They welcomed the fact that more than 3,700 Indians were trained in JIMs (Japan-India Institutes for Manufacturing) and JECs (Japanese Endowed Courses) in the past year. They noted with pleasure the operationalization of the Specified Skilled Worker (SSW) system under the Memorandum of Cooperation signed in January 2021.
They welcomed the starting of SSW examinations in India earlier this year and noted that some skilled workers have started working in Japan already as SSW. They also noted with pleasure that approximately 200 Indians are staying in Japan as Technical Intern Trainees. They concurred to work together to boost the number of skilled Indians who could contribute to Japanese economy through these existing frameworks.
Prime Minister Modi congratulated Prime Minister Kishida for the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, and Prime Minister Kishida expressed his appreciation for India's support. Prime Minister Modi confirmed India's participation in the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan, as an opportunity to further strengthen and broaden trade, investment and people-to-people links between the two countries. Prime Minister Kishida welcomed India's participation and expressed his gratitude for Prime Minister Modi's support for its success.
The Prime Ministers confirmed the importance of building upon the achievements through annual mutual visits by the leaders, and looked forward to continuing such visits in the years ahead. Prime Minister Kishida thanked Prime Minister Modi for the warmth and hospitality extended to him and members of his delegation during his visit to India and extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit Japan on the occasion of the Quad Leaders' Summit. Prime Minister Modi accepted the invitation with great pleasure.