New Delhi, March 19
Japanese PM Fumio Kishida arrived here on Saturday and announced $42 billion (Rs 3.20 lakh crore) worth of investments in India over the next five years. The next big visitor will be Australian PM Scott Morrison on Monday. These visits precede the possible arrival of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who will be in the region by the month-end.
Kishida sought to continue with generous investments in Indian infrastructure — about Rs 20,000 crore during 2014-2019. Japanese loans finance the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, several Metro projects and the dedicated freight corridor. The two sides inked six agreements providing for expansion of bilateral cooperation in a range of areas, besides firming a separate clean energy partnership. Taking place after three-and-a-half years, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said there were several firsts – the first meeting of the two PMs after Kishida took office, Kishida’s first bilateral visit outside Japan and the first incoming visit of a PM to India this year. Shringla noted that the visit comes months before Tokyo hosts an in-person Quad summit.
Earlier, at a joint media briefing, PM Modi said stronger India-Japan ties would help encourage peace, prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific. He said both countries understood the importance of a secure and stable energy supply and that both were determined to expand overall cooperation.
Kishida said the Ukraine situation figured in the talks and described Moscow’s actions as a “serious matter that has shaken the basis of international norms.” He said unilateral attempts to change the status quo using force should not be allowed.
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