India, Japan to hold first 2+2 ministerial dialogue tomorrow
India and Japan are expected to explore ways to strengthen security cooperation during their first foreign and defence ministerial dialogue in New Delhi on November 30 to give greater depth to their special strategic partnership.
The 2+2 dialogue, which has previously been held at the level of officials since 2010, will also prepare the grounds for the visit of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next month for the annual summit with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. The two premiers are expected to meet in Guwahati in mid-December.
Modi and Abe had decided to elevate the 2+2 dialogue to the ministerial level during their last annual summit in Japan in October 2018. India has such a dialogue only with Japan and the US.
“The 2+2 meeting would provide an opportunity for the two sides to review the status of and exchange further views on strengthening defence and security cooperation...so as to provide greater depth to the ‘India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership’,” said a statement from the external affairs ministry.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister S Jaishankar will head the Indian delegation, while the Japanese side will be led by foreign affairs minister Toshimitsu Motegi and defence minister Taro Kono.
The two sides will also exchange views on the situation in the Indo-Pacific and efforts under India’s Act East Policy and Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision for achieving the shared objective of peace, prosperity and progress to realize a better future for the people of the two countries and the region, the statement said.
The 2+2 ministerial dialogue reflects the growing ties between India and Japan, especially on strategic and security issues, and the desire of both side to create a rules-based framework to ensure the Indo-Pacific remains free and inclusive. The two countries, both major importers of energy, are keen to ensure freedom of navigation in regional waters against the backdrop of China’s increasingly assertive behaviour.