Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will pay a two-day visit to India starting Monday, March 20. The two-day visit will focus on strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
Kishida’s itinerary includes crucial talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, presentation of the 41st Sapru House Indo-Pacific Conference and visit to the Bodhi Tree at Buddha Jayanti Park in Delhi. He is expected to present his point of view on the Indo-Pacific during his conference.
The Bodhi tree is significant because it is a sapling of the sacred Bodhi tree, under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. It was donated by then Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike and planted by then Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1964.
The 81-acre Buddha Jayanti Park, located on Delhi’s central ridge, is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike.
India and Japan share a special strategic and global partnership, which has been elevated over the years to signify the growing importance of the relationship.
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Annual summits and 2+2 foreign affairs and defense ministerial meetings are held between the two countries to discuss various areas of cooperation, including defense and security, trade and investment, science and technology. , education, health and critical and emerging technologies.
Defense and security cooperation between India and Japan has grown. Recent milestones in this area include the successful conduct of the first “Veer Guardian” fighter aircraft exercise in January 2023, and the 4th “Dharma Guardian” military exercise, which was conducted for the first time in Japan. Maritime security cooperation and cooperation between navies have also seen significant progress, with several joint exercises conducted between the two countries.
Japan is a major investor in India, and the two countries have established Japanese Industrial Townships (JITs) to promote economic partnership, investment, industry and infrastructure development. The two countries have also entered into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which covers various areas including trade in goods and services, movement of natural persons, investment and intellectual property rights.
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Skills development and the movement of skilled workers from India to Japan is an area where there are complementarities between the two economies. Several cooperation protocols have been signed between India and Japan to facilitate the same. Kishida’s visit comes at a time when India and Japan are holding important discussions on a range of issues, including the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape in the Indo-Pacific region.
(Reported by Sidhant Sibal)