India, Japan plan high-level engagements

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, April 10

The governments of Japan and India are arranging a meeting of their Foreign and Defence Ministers in Tokyo later this month which will be followed by Japan Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide visiting India as part of a two-nation tour that might include the Philippines, reported the Japanese media.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and Defence Minister Kishi Nobuo are due to attend. From India, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will take part.

This will be Jaishankar’s second visit to Tokyo in a little over six months and this will be the second two-plus-two meeting between the two countries after the first such interaction here two years ago.

The countries are expected to discuss ways to cooperate more closely on defence as a follow up to the agreement signed last year to allow the Self-Defence Forces and the Indian military to provide each other with food and fuel called logistics sharing agreement (LSA).

Suga will also make his first visit to India after taking over from Shinzo Abe during the holiday period running from April end to the start of May.

The Japanese government is increasingly looking to India as an ally that shares basic values and can help work toward a free and open Indo-Pacific as China continues to assert itself across the region, said Japanese broadcaster NHK.

The two sides will also build on the Quad alliance which recently held its first virtual summit and is slated to hold its first in-person summit in June.

Other issues at the two plus two include joint efforts toward strengthening supply chains in the Asian region, according to Japan Times.

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