‘India, Japan are natural partners’: Jaishankar at event with Yoshimasa Hayashi | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

‘India, Japan are natural partners’: Jaishankar at event with Yoshimasa Hayashi

Jul 29, 2023 04:30 AM IST

India was the first stop on Hayashi’s three-nation tour, which will also take him to Sri Lanka and the Maldives

NEW DELHI: Japan’s foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on Friday held up India as an “indispensable” partner for achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific, while his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar said the two sides are “natural partners” for taking on challenges in areas ranging from the economy to emerging technologies.

External affairs minister SJaishankar and Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi discussed ways to step up Japanese investments in India and deepen defence cooperation. (Twitter/DrSJaishankar)
External affairs minister SJaishankar and Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi discussed ways to step up Japanese investments in India and deepen defence cooperation. (Twitter/DrSJaishankar)

The two ministers were speaking at the second India-Japan Forum organised by the external affairs ministry. India was the first stop on Hayashi’s three-nation tour, which will also take him to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. During talks on Thursday, Jaishankar and Hayashi discussed ways to step up Japanese investments in India and deepen defence cooperation.

Unlock exclusive access to the story of India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now!

Building on the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)” vision unveiled by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during a visit to New Delhi in March this year, Hayashi said Japan intends to deepen cooperation with India in all areas. Japan and India are also working closely together under their presidencies of the G7 and the G20 respectively, he said.

Pointing to Kishida announcing the new FOIP plan in New Delhi, he said: “This fact itself is a reflection of the critical importance Japan places on India, as your nation is an indispensable partner in achieving FOIP.”

Hayashi added: “At a time when there are many pressing challenges, including Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Japan and India fully share the necessity to lead the world to cooperation, rather than to division and confrontation.”

Lauding the Indian G20 presidency’s focus on the Global South, Hayashi said the call to uphold a rules-based international order may sound like a slogan if there isn’t an adequate commitment to address challenges facing developing countries. At the same time, he noted that food security has deteriorated because of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Hayashi said India and Japan have made progress in new initiatives in areas such as cyber and space, while discussions are underway for “substantial cooperation” in defence equipment and technology.

In his speech, Jaishankar highlighted key challenges confronting the world, including artificial intelligence, building reliable supply chains, ensuring trust and transparency in the digital domain, and upholding democratic values.

Jaishankar said India and Japan are natural partners for jointly addressing these challenges. “I would say today whether it is the future of the international order, strategy, economics, technology, culture or indeed whether it’s history or geography, I think India and Japan have a lot going for each other,” he said.

Hayashi also spoke about Japan’s plans to revise its “Development Cooperation Charter”, the basic document for development cooperation. “Under this revised charter, we will continue to undertake efforts to build quality infrastructure in India, including high-speed rail and urban transportation,” he said.

When a Japanese reporter pointed out that a bilateral partnership is tested by a war or a crisis and asked how the two sides would collaborate in case of a war in the Taiwan Strait or a conflict on the India-China border, Jaishankar replied: “I fundamentally disagree with your question because I think it is actually peacetime cooperation which is when you are tested, because if you don’t work every day to build a relationship and to put in place capabilities, comfort and structures, then when something more severe comes – if I can’t handle a good day, how will I handle a difficult day.”

Jaishankar said the real challenge for the two sides is to bolster cooperation in economics, supply chains, the digital domain, critical technologies and maritime security. “If you do all of this, I would say you are contributing to the strengthening of peace, stability and security. So many of the worst fears don’t happen, if you actually work ahead of it,” he added.

Hayashi said India-Japan security cooperation includes joint military exercises between all three services while economic cooperation contributes to more stable and strong relations. All of this “will be working against any of these scenarios”, he said.

Discover the complete story of India's general elections on our exclusive Elections Product! Access all the content absolutely free on the HT App. Download now!

Get Current Updates on India News, Lok Sabha election 2024 live, Election 2024 along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On