India, Japan to have first '2+2' ministerial meeting soon

India, Japan to have first '2+2' ministerial meeting soon

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Vladivostok: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during delegation level talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the margins of the 5th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Sep 5, 2019. (Photo: IANS/MEA)
By Ajay Kaul
Vladivostok (Russia), Sep 5 (IANS) India and Japan will have their first '2+2' ministerial meeting before the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India in December for the annual summit.
This was decided at a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abe here on Thursday on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).
The '2+2' is a format where Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers of the two countries have a joint meeting to discuss strategic issues.
Briefing media persons on the talks between Modi and Abe, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the Japanese Prime Minister referred to the recent visit by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to Japan where substantive issues were discussed.
Abe told Modi that those discussions could be taken forward during the Summit meeting in Delhi in December and there could be possibility of concrete outcomes, Gokhale said.
The two leaders also discussed the possibility of India and Japan jointly undertaking projects in Africa.
They talked about the India-Japan-US trilateral format under which two Summit meetings have been held and agreed to continue such meetings as these have been positive.
On Indo-Pacific region, apparently in the context of China flexing its muscle in South China Sea, Modi and Abe were of the view that the region should have free and open movement for its economic progress and security.
The two leaders also discussed issues related to Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) among 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its six partners -- India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Modi said issues like trade in goods and services should be kept in mind while finalising the arrangement.
Detailed discussions on various issues will be held between the two Prime Ministers during their annual Summit in Delhi in December, exact dates for which are being finalised, Gokhale said.
Modi also held a bilateral meeting with Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga and took an overview of the bilateral ties.
They mainly talked about trade and economic ties.
Detailed talks will be held when Battulga visits India later this month, Gokhale said.
Besides Delhi, he will be visiting Bengaluru and Bodh Gaya, the Foreign Secretary said.

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