New Delhi: Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi visited Japan for the India-Japan Annual Summit with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. During the visit, recognizing the unparalleled potential for development of relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Abe reviewed the significant milestones achieved over the last four years and outlined the following shared vision for the future of India-Japan relations:
- The India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership, firmly rooted in history and based on common values is the mainspring for advancing the two countries’ shared strategic objectives and achieving peace, prosperity and progress to realize a better future for the people of the two countries. As the two Prime Ministers resonantly elucidated in the series of SAMVAD dialogues, the universal values of freedom, humanism, democracy, tolerance and non-violence, which have been shared between India and Japan throughout a long history of academic, spiritual and scholarly exchanges, not only constitute the basis for the India-Japan bilateral relationship but also underscore the principles for the two countries to work together for the benefit of the Indo-Pacific region and the world at large.
- The two leaders shared their view that in order to achieve this shared vision, India and Japan must endeavour to work together for a rules-based and inclusive world order that fosters trust and confidence by enhancing communication and connectivity to ensure rule of law, unimpeded trade and flow of people, technology and ideas for shared prosperity.
- Prime Minister Modi recognised that the India-Japan relationship has been transformed into a partnership with great substance and purpose and is a corner stone of India’s Act East Policy. Prime Minster Abe underscored the basic importance of India-Japan relationship for the regional order and is determined to advancing the “new era in India-Japan relations” so as to further cooperate for peace, stability and prosperity of Indo-Pacific. Based on their shared vision, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their unwavering commitment to working together towards a free and open Indo-Pacific. The two leaders also affirmed that ASEAN unity and centrality are at the heart of the Indo-Pacific concept, which is inclusive and open to all. They shared willingness to expand concrete cooperation with the U.S. and other partners. The two leaders’ vision for the Indo-Pacific is based on a rules-based order that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, ensures freedom of navigation and overflight as well as unimpeded lawful commerce, and seeks peaceful resolution of disputes with full respect for legal and diplomatic processes in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including those reflected in the UNCLOS, without resorting to threat or use of force.
Partnership for Prosperity
- The two Prime Ministers reviewed with satisfaction the cooperation on development of connectivity via quality infrastructure, and other projects including capacity building for shared prosperity, carried out bilaterally and with other partners, in an open, transparent and non-exclusive manner and based on international standards, responsible debt financing practices, and in alignment with local economic and development strategies and priorities. This synergy is embodied in collaborative projects between India and Japan in the Indo-Pacific region, including in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh as well as in Africa. In this regard, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the discussions for establishing the “Platform for Japan-India Business Cooperation in Asia-Africa Region” to further enhance the exchanges between Japanese and Indian businesses toward developing industrial corridors and industrial network in the region.
- The two Prime Ministers welcomed the progress made for the development of India’s North Eastern Region through the India-Japan Act East Forum by identifying and implementing projects for enhancing connectivity, sustainable forest and ecological management, disaster risk reduction and people-to-people exchanges. They also highlighted the importance of development of smart islands in India.
- Prime Minister Modi expressed his appreciation for the significant contribution of Japan’s ODA to the socio-economic development of India. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s intention to continue to support India’s efforts for social and industrial development, including through key quality infrastructure projects and capacity building. The two leaders reviewed with satisfaction the progress made, including the signing of the Exchange of Notes for yen loan, on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project, which is an important symbol of India-Japan collaboration marked by the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. They also welcomed the continued cooperation on Metro Projects which support smarter development of Indian cities. India further appreciated Japan’s role in promoting connectivity through quality infrastructure projects such as the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.
- The two Prime Ministers remain committed to synergising India’s demographic dividend and Japan’s capital and technology to realise the true potential of the India-Japan economic partnership for a prosperous future. In this regard, India welcomed Japan’s strong support for key transformational initiatives such as “Make in India”, “Skill India” and “Clean India Mission”, through sharing of resources and advanced technologies, and active mobilisation of Japanese public and private sector investments. Recognising the close cooperation in Intellectual Property Rights between the Intellectual Property Offices of the two countries, the two leaders concurred to start a bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway programme on a pilot basis in certain identified fields of inventions in the first quarter of FY 2019. They welcomed the expansion of Japan’s Foreign Direct Investment in India under the “India-Japan Investment Promotion Partnership”, the progress made in Japan Industrial Townships and other initiatives included in the Japan-India Roadmap for Investment Promotion. With a view to enhancing financial and economic cooperation, Governments of Japan and India welcomed the agreement to conclude a Bilateral Swap Arrangement of USD 75 billion. With regard to External Commercial Borrowing, no mandatory hedging will be required for infrastructure ECB of more than 5 years minimum average maturity.
- The two leaders shared the intention to further augment cooperation in skill development by expanding the scope and number of Japan-India Institutes for Manufacturing as well as the Japanese Endowed Courses in various Indian states. Cooperation in human resource development and exchanges, including through utilising frameworks such as Japan’s “Innovative Asia” initiative, and the Technical Intern Training Program will be further promoted, aligning with emerging demands of industry.
- Both leaders welcomed the launching of a comprehensive India-Japan Digital Partnership with the vision to develop IoT and AI solutions for societal benefits and explore joint collaboration in emerging technologies by utilizing the “Japan-India Start-Up Hub” in Bengaluru and NASSCOM’s IT corridor project in Hiroshima Prefecture, attracting highly skilled talent and establishing collaboration between their respective industries and institutions. This will bring about a convergence between India’s flagship programmes such as “Digital India”, “Start-Up India” and “Smart City” with Japan’s “Society 5.0” to promote societal benefits. Both sides will encourage and support the creation of funds to invest in start-ups in India with participation by Japanese stakeholders.
- As they strive to provide affordable healthcare to their people, including addressing the challenges such as aging population, both leaders welcome the linking of Japan’s Asia Health and Well being Initiative (AHWIN) with India’s healthcare initiatives such as Ayushman Bharat, by introducing affordable technology, skill development and best practices in healthcare through reciprocal and mutually beneficial approaches. They will also exchange more information and work towards cooperation in the domain of traditional medicine, including Ayurveda, which, along with Yoga, has a rich history of providing holistic alternative healthcare.
- Both leaders also welcomed the progress made by the two sides in taking forward the bilateral cooperation in agriculture, food processing and forestry among various public and private stakeholders which would improve productivity of agriculture and decrease harvest and post-harvest losses.
- The two leaders reaffirmed that people-to-people exchanges are at the core of the India-Japan partnership and noted with satisfaction the growing cultural, educational, parliamentary, academic and Track 1.5 engagements, including the “Indo-Pacific Forum”. They also regarded tourism as an area with huge untapped potential and shared views to make efforts to enhance two-way flows, including through further easing of the visa requirements and tourism promotions. Both leaders shared the view to further promote India-Japan partnerships in higher education and empowerment of women, and facilitate academic, youth and sports exchanges. The collaborative launch of the Japanese Language Teachers’ Training Centre in India will build new bridges between the two peoples. The two leaders underscored the importance of steady expansion of contacts between Indian states and Japanese prefectures.
Partnership for Peace
- The two Prime Ministers viewed with great satisfaction the enormous progress made in the last decade in fostering joint efforts towards shared security since the signing of the India-Japan Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation in 2008. They reaffirmed their desire to further deepen bilateral security and defence cooperation and institute Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2), in addition to existing mechanisms, including the Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue, Defence Policy Dialogue, the National Security Advisers’ Dialogue, Staff-level Dialogue of each service. The two leaders welcomed the joint exercise between each of the three services and the commencement of negotiations on the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement , which will enhance the strategic depth of bilateral security and defence cooperation.
- Both leaders acknowledged the significant progress in maritime security cooperation, as seen in the high frequency of bilateral naval exercises and deepening level of the Malabar exercises, as well as long standing dialogues and training between the Coast Guards. Recognizing that enhanced exchanges in expanding maritime domain awareness in the Indo-Pacific region contributes to regional peace and stability, they welcomed the signing of the Implementing Arrangement for deeper cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
- Cooperation between India and Japan on defence equipment and technology holds immense scope and potential for strengthening technological capability and industrial infrastructure through joint efforts between the public and private sectors. To this end, both leaders further reaffirmed to promote interaction between Indian and Japanese defence industries and relevant authorities, and also welcomed the commencement of the cooperative research in the area of Unmanned Ground Vehicle and Robotics. The two sides will continue to make efforts with regard to cooperation on US-2 amphibian aircraft.
- Both leaders reiterated their commitment to promoting the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and decided to launch an Annual Space Dialogue for enhancing bilateral cooperation in outer-space. Both leaders also welcomed the technological collaboration between their respective agencies in the Joint Lunar Polar Exploration Mission.
- The two leaders welcomed recent developments in the Korean Peninsula, including the U.S.-North Korea Summit at Singapore in June and three inter-Korean Summits this year as a step towards the comprehensive resolution of the outstanding issues regarding North Korea. They underscored the importance of realizing North Korea’s complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, and the importance of addressing concerns related to North Korea’s proliferation linkages. They reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the relevant UNSCRs. They also urged North Korea to address the earliest resolution of the abductions issue.
- The two leaders reaffirmed their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons and remained resolute in the task of strengthening international cooperation to address the challenges of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. Prime Minister Abe stressed the importance of early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The two leaders called for an immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral, and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) on the basis of Shannon Mandate. After India’s full accession to three international export control regimes, the two leaders pledged to continue working together for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, with the aim of strengthening the global non-proliferation efforts.
- The two Prime Ministers condemned in the strongest terms the growing threat of terrorism and its universal reach. They called upon all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels, and halting cross-border movement of terrorists. They underlined the need for all countries to ensure that their territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries in any manner. They emphasised the need for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism and violent extremism, including through increased sharing of information and intelligence. They called upon Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorist attacks, including those of November 2008 in Mumbai and January 2016 in Pathankot. They looked forward to strengthening cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including Al-Qaida, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lakshar-e-Tayyiba, and their affiliates.
- India and Japan seek expeditious and meaningful reforms of the United Nations, in particular the comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council, to make it more legitimate, effective and representative, taking into account the contemporary realities of the 21st century. They also expressed their determination to accelerate its process, including the launch of text-based negotiations in the intergovernmental negotiations in the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. In this regard, they emphasized the importance of global collaboration with reform-oriented countries. They support each other’s candidature, based on the firmly shared recognition that India and Japan are legitimate candidates for permanent membership in an expanded UNSC.
Partnership for Global Action
- The two Prime Ministers underlined the importance of their growing collaboration for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals . They committed themselves to strengthening environmental partnership in areas such as pollution control, sustainable biodiversity management, chemical and waste management, climate change and waste water management, utilizing the cooperation framework between their relevant authorities. Underscoring the need for concerted global action to combat climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement adopted under UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, they shared the view to play a leading role in this field, and reiterated their commitment to finalising the work programme for implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerate further consultations for establishing the Joint Crediting Mechanism.
- Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening cooperation on sustainable and clean forms of energy, including nuclear and renewables; explore possibilities for collaboration in hydrogen-based energy, while also continuing their efforts for cooperation in use of clean coal technology, petroleum and natural gas projects and LNG supply chain and welcomed “Japan-India Energy Transition Cooperation Plan”. India and Japan will further collaborate in energy efficiency and conservation, energy storage as well as manufacturing of eco-friendly vehicles including hybrid and electric vehicles. The two leaders welcomed the progress of India-Japan consultations on civil nuclear cooperation, and decided to continue discussions in this regard. India welcomed Japan’s decision to join the International Solar Alliance as it will strengthen global efforts to promote the deployment of solar energy as a clean, affordable and sustainable energy option.
- The two leaders reviewed with satisfaction the progress of cooperation in disaster risk reduction, bilaterally through the organization of workshops as well as multilaterally in different fora. They acknowledged the importance of effective implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, in areas such as early warning mechanism, water resource management, use of space-based technology and disaster resilient infrastructure.
- The two leaders underlined the crucial role of the rules-based multilateral trading system and shared the urgent necessity to reform the WTO leading to the reinforced functioning of the WTO and to free, fair, and open trade, for achieving sustainable growth and development. They recommitted themselves to resisting protectionism including all unfair trade practices and underlined the need to remove trade-distorting measures. They reaffirmed the strategic importance of the early conclusion of the negotiations for a high-quality, comprehensive and balanced Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement for realising full benefits of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
- The two Prime Ministers underscored the importance of enhancing consultation and coordination in regional and multilateral fora and institutions. They committed themselves to effectively addressing the needs and challenges of our times by promoting sustainable growth and development, economic stability, food and water security, environmental protection, disaster mitigation, counter-terrorism, cyber security, clean energy and science and technology development. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed that relations between the two countries have acquired great purpose and substance in recent years. They underscored their mutual trust and deep faith in the maturity of the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership today and the immense promise it holds for the future of the two countries as they jointly endeavour to build a more secure, peaceful and prosperous region and the world.