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India integral to free Indo-Pacific: Kishida

Unveils $75 bn plan to counter China

India integral to free Indo-Pacific: Kishida

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida at Buddha Jayanti Park in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

Tribune News Service

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, March 20

Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced over $75 billion worth of infrastructure and security assistance for Indo-Pacific countries, including India, even as PM Narendra Modi vowed to expand the India-Japan global strategic partnership. Kishida said India was integral to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

The two leaders also referred to a 5 trillion yen ($38.7 billion) Japanese investment target in India over a five-year period announced during the Japanese leader’s visit last year. “There has been good progress in this direction,” said PM Modi.

The Japanese PM arrived here in the morning amid an unprecedented global churn over the Ukraine conflict and China’s aggressive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific. He had two major engagements – a meeting with PM Modi and a speech at the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA) outlining Japan’s new action plan for the Indo-Pacific during which he announced the $75 billion assistance. With Japan chairing the G7 and India the G20, PM Modi said, “It is the best opportunity to work on our respective priorities.” He said an important pillar of India’s G20 presidency was to give a voice to the Global South. PM Modi said the two sides reviewed progress in bilateral relations, mainly in areas of defence, digital technology, trade, investment and health. They also discussed the importance of reliable supply chains for semi-conductors and other critical technologies.

PM Modi said India-Japan ties were based on democratic principles and respect for international rule of law and that it was important for the Indo-Pacific as well. Kishida formally invited PM Modi for the G7 summit in Tokyo in May, which was accepted. In his ICWA speech, Kishida spoke of a big change in the global balance of power and said India was indispensable to his vision for a world where diverse nations coexisted and prospered together under the rule of law without falling into geopolitical competition.

Kishida told the media that Modi also shared his thoughts on areas such as development finance, food security and green energy during their meeting.

PM Modi also said rapid progress was being made on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project. Kishida, meanwhile, tried different Indian street food.

For stronger ties

We reviewed progress in bilateral ties, mainly in defence, digital technology, trade & investment and health. Narendra Modi, PM

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