Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the Indian diaspora in Tokyo on Monday, 23 May, said that India and Japan were natural partners, and that the latter had a vital role to play in India's development. The prime minister's comments come a day ahead of the Quad Summit.
"India and Japan are natural partners. Japan has played an important role in India's development journey. Our relationship with Japan is of intimacy, spirituality, cooperation and belonging," the PM said.
The prime minister also attended the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) in Japan. The launch was conducted by United States President Joe Biden, and marks the formation of a trade partnership between 13 nations.
In his comments during the launch ceremony, the prime minister said that announcement of the IPEF was a declaration of a collective desire to make the Indo-Pacific region an engine of global economic growth.
He expressed India's commitment to working with all Indo-Pacific countries for an IPEF, which is both inclusive and flexible. "India is committed to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region and believes that deepening economic engagement among partners is crucial for continued growth, peace, and prosperity," the PM said.
Modi is visiting Tokyo on 23-24 May at the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Modi also participated in a round table with Japanese business leaders in Tokyo.
PM Modi Meets Over 30 Japanese Business Leaders for Roundtable
The Indian prime minister, who had landed in Tokyo in the wee hours of Monday, met the CEOs of Japanese clothing company Uniqlo, SoftBank, Suzuki, Toyota, Yamaha, and the chairman of IT company NEC Corporation among others.
Talking about the interaction, the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "PM Modi interacted with top executives and CEOs from over 30 Japanese companies. He apprised the Japanese business leaders of the recent reforms undertaken by India to improve ease of doing business, and invited them to ‘Make in India for the World’."
With NEC's Nobuhiro Endo, Modi spoke about "opportunities in India in areas such as smart cities, emerging technologies and an innovative effort to encourage learning of Japanese in India," as per his office.
The MEA, in a statement said, "PM noted that despite the slowdown in global FDI, India has attracted record FDI of USD 84 billion in the previous financial year. He termed this a vote of confidence of India’s economic potential."
"He invited greater participation by Japanese companies in India and proposed celebrating Japan’s contribution to India’s development journey in the form of a ‘Japan Week’," the release added.
Modi Addresses Indian Diaspora
Addressing a community programme in Tokyo, PM Modi said, "Today's world needs to follow the path shown by Lord Buddha. This is the way to save humanity from all the challenges facing the world today, be it violence, anarchy, terrorism or climate change."
Speaking on the cooperation between two nations, Modi cited examples such as the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed Rail, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, or dedicated freight corridor.
"Today, the world is realising the speed and scale on which India is increasing its infrastructure and capacity building. Japan is an important partner in building this capacity of ours," he said.
The prime minister added that he had got several lessons in his life, due to which "I have developed a habit that 'Mujhe makhan par lakeer karne mein maza nahi aata hain, main patthar par lakeer karta hoon' (I don't like drawing lines on butter; instead I draw lines on stones)."
The leader had earlier taken to Twitter to share several photos of the Indian diaspora in Tokyo, who welcomed him with chants and placards. He praised them for their contributions in different fields and for staying connected to their Indian roots.
Closer India-Japan cooperation is vital in the post-COVID world, PM Modi wrote and also commended Japan's developmental strides.
US Prez Biden Launches Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF)
American President Joe Biden launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) on Monday with a dozen initial partners: Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Together, the nations represent 40 percent of world GDP.
"This framework is a commitment to working with our close friends and partners in the region on challenges that matter most to ensuring economic competitiveness in the 21st century," he said.
The programme foresees integrating partners in four main areas: the digital economy, supply chains, clean energy infrastructure, and anti-corruption measures.
PM Modi To Hold Meet With Biden, Australian PM
PM Modi said in a departure statement on Sunday that the leaders of the United States, Japan, and Australia – which, along with India, comprise the Quad – would exchange views about developments in the Indo-Pacific region and global issues of mutual interest.
The prime minister wrote on Twitter on Sunday, "This evening, I will be leaving for Japan to take part in the second in-person Quad Summit. The leaders will once again have the opportunity to discuss various Quad initiatives and other issues of mutual interest."
Along with holding discussions with the Japanese prime minister, PM Modi will hold discussions with US President Joe Biden.
"I will hold a bilateral meeting with President Joseph Biden, where we will discuss further consolidation of our multi-faceted bilateral relations with USA We will also continue our dialogue on regional developments and contemporary global issues," Modi said in his statement.
PM Modi will also meet newly elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. The two leaders are set to discuss multifaceted cooperation between India and Australia under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
Diplomats of the two countries will also deliberate about the ongoing regional and global issues of mutual interest. This will also be the Australian prime minister’s first Quad Summit.