India and Japan on Monday signed six agreements, including on a high-speed rail project and naval cooperation, and agreed to hold ‘2+2’ dialogue at the ministerial level after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe held talks in Tokyo. The two leaders also discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues, including the situation in the Indo-Pacific region where China has begun to assert itself.
India, Japan to hold ‘2+2’dialogue at ministerial level
“We have agreed for a 2+2 dialogue between our Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers. The aim of this is to further work towards world peace and stability,” Modi said in a joint address to the media following the 13th annual bilateral summit, signalling a strengthing of ties between the two Asian powers.
Till now, the 2+2 dialogue between India and Japan was held at the vice-ministerial level. On September 6, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held the first edition of the ‘2+2’ dialogue with their US counterparts Michael Pompeo and James Mattis in New Delhi.
Currency swap agreement
The two nations also signed a $75 billion currency swap agreement, which the Finance Ministry said was aimed at improving confidence in the foreign exchange and capital markets. It said the value of the deal was 50 per cent higher than the last currency swap between the two countries, signed in 2014.
PM Modi said Japan investors have announced they would invest $2.5 billion in India. “We both agree that from digital partnership to cyberspace, health, defence, ocean to space, in every field we will strengthen our partnership. I have been told that today Japan investors have announced that they will invest 2.5 billion US dollars in India,” he said at the joint briefing.
“We both agree that from digital partnership to cyberspace, health, defence, ocean to space, in every field we will strengthen our partnership,” PM Modi said after the talks,
The two leaders reviewed the progress made on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet project and signed an agreement on the implementing arrangement for deeper cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). Besides, India and Japan also decided to cooperate for the first time in Yoga and Ayurveda to provide holistic healthcare in both countries.
PM Modi interacts with Indian diaspora
Modi was given a guard of honour upon his arrival for the annual summit talks at the Kantei, the Prime Minister’s Official Residence. Earlier in the day, the PM held a series of meetings with top Japanese leaders and addressed the Indian community.
Hailing India’s “tremendous progress” in the digital infrastructure, Modi said 1 GB data was cheaper than the smallest bottle of cold drink in the country. “Today India is making tremendous progress in the field of digital infrastructure. Broadband connectivity is reaching villages, over 100 crore mobile phones are active in India. 1 GB is cheaper than a small bottle of cold drink,” Modi said.