The India-Japan summit sparked curiosity across the nation as the Japanese Fumio Kishida arrived in Delhi. The summit is taking place in the national capital to examine opportunities for enhancing bilateral relations in various fields, such as defense and security, trade and investment, and advanced technologies. Later in the day, Kishida and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are scheduled to hold discussions regarding the G7 presidency of Japan and the G20 presidency of India. The meeting will prove to be significant for improving the India-Japan relationship and resolving global issues concerning both countries.
While announcing the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Plan for Peace” at the Sapru House Lecture, which is being hosted by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), Kishida is anticipated to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, Shinzo Abe. The PM would emphasize promoting a close partnership with India in the areas of security and development throughout the Indo-Pacific region, acknowledging the country’s role in it. The annual summit is also likely to include discussions about the Ukraine crisis, as Japan has been advocating for increased sanctions against Russia. However, India has chosen not to publicly condemn Russia’s involvement in the war and has instead supported diplomatic efforts and dialogue to resolve the conflict.
During his address at the esteemed Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in June last year, Kishida announced that he would present his plan for the Indo-Pacific in the following spring. In his speech, he stated that he intended to unveil a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Plan for Peace” by the next spring. The plan was designed to bolster Japan’s efforts in advancing the concept of a free and open Indo-Pacific, with a focus on enhancing maritime law enforcement capabilities by providing patrol vessels. Additionally, the plan would address concerns related to cyber security, digital and green initiatives, and economic security.
The discussions between Modi and Kishida are likely to cover a broad range of topics, including the developing situation in the Indo-Pacific region in light of China’s increasing military assertiveness. The Prime Minister of Japan is expected to be in India for approximately 27 hours, during which he will present his “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Plan for Peace” at a prominent think-tank in the afternoon. The last few years have been crucial for almost all leading powers to strategize the functioning of the Indo-Pacific region. Programs have been devised based on varied agendas. This meeting in particular is anticipated to unveil Japan’s approach and policy towards the same.
It is essential to note that the Indo-Pacific region is home to some of the world’s most vital sea lanes, and its importance has only increased in recent years. The region’s economic significance has grown significantly, with a huge portion of global trade flowing through its waters. India and Japan are two of the most prominent players in the Indo-Pacific region. Both countries have a shared interest in maintaining peace and stability in the region and promoting economic growth.