India, Japan to galvanise Modi-Abe agenda

modi-japan-abeBuilding upon the famed Modi-Abe bonding during their much-publicised meeting in August last year, India and Japan have moved into 2015 with an ambitious mandate to fructify the next steps in their multifarious relationship.

The foreign ministers of India and Japan are set to hold their next round of strategic dialogue as New Delhi hosts Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kashida, the first high-level visit from Tokyo after the elections in Japan that returned Shinzo Abe to power with a brutal majority.

During their talks on January 16, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Japanese counterpart are expected to review all aspects of the blossoming relationship, which has been galvanised with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal touch and investment in what the new dispensation in Delhi has identified as a major priority country for India in the years ahead.

The two foreign ministers will review the  status of outcomes, including doubling of investment, during  Mr Modi’s visit to Japan in September last year, Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry, said ahead of the trip.

Mr Modi’s visit to Japan culminated in headline-hogging outcomes, including the forging of an investment partnership and Japan pledging $35 billion for a host of signature infrastructure projects over the next five years in India.

The trip also saw the two Asian democracies signing five pacts encompassing diverse areas, including defence exchanges, cooperation in clean energy, roads and highways, healthcare.

In the strategic sphere, the two countries are looking to collaborate closely in shaping an inclusive Asia-Pacific architecture, a strategic imperative which has been accentuated by China’s perceived assertiveness in the region.



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