India is looking forward to a “rich discussion” with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during his visit here next week.
MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi maintained that it is too early to debate about the ‘talking points’ between the two sides and also “too soon to prejudge that”.
“…Let me confirm, we look forward to the visit of the Honourable Prime Minister of Japan. That’s on March 20,” the spokesman said at a press conference.
He further said, “As you know, Japan is a very important partner. We have annual summits with them. This is part of that. They are also partners in plurilateral and multilateral constructs. So, we look forward to a rich discussion. We look forward to exchanging views”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gone to Japan last year, Arindam Bagchi said, adding, for his part, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had come here.
“So, we look forward to taking forward those discussions. But what will be the talking points, what will be the outcomes, let the leaders talk about it. I think it’s pretty far too soon to prejudge that,” he said.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi arrived in New Delhi on March 3 to attend the 8th Raisina Dialogue.
Japanese PM Fumio Kishida will visit India from March 20-21. During the visit, he will hold a meeting with PM Modi. The two leaders will discuss bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.
The two leaders are also expected to discuss their priorities for their respective Presidencies of the G7 and G20. India, in December 2022, assumed the G20 Presidency, while Japan took over the G7 Presidency in 2023.
The Japanese PM’s visit is also expected to help to harmonise the respective positions and possibly have the G7 play a more constructive role in ensuring that the G20 can meet its stated goals.
India and Japan are both members of Quad and are committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Notably, during the visit of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to India as well the Quad issues figured prominently.
It is worth mentioning that Japan and India have also committed to cooperate on issues related to the sustainable development of the North Eastern region of India. This also included an initiative for the bamboo value chain in the North East and cooperation in health care connectivity and tourism.
On Iran-Saudi pact :
Meanwhile, in the first official response to Iran and Saudi Arabia inking an agreement, MEA spokesman Bagchi said that it had “seen reports” about the agreement.
“India has good relations with various countries in West Asia and we have an abiding interest in the region. India has always advocated dialogue and diplomacy to resolve differences”.
Last week, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to end their seven years of estrangement by signing an agreement and decided to re-open embassies and missions over the next two months.