AHEAD OF Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India mid-December, India and Japan are going to hold the inaugural meeting of India-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) on Saturday in Delhi.
So far, only India and the US have the 2+2 ministerial mechanism, although India and Australia also have the 2+2 at the official level. With this, India has 2+2 mechanism with all the Quad countries. India, Australia, US and Japan have met under the rubric of Quadrilateral since 2017 at the official level, and at the foreign ministers’ level in September this year. India and the US 2+2 level dialogue is expected to take place on December 18 in Washington DC this year.
A statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said, “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 between India and Japan so as to provide greater depth to the ‘India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership’.”
It said that the two sides will also exchange views on the situation in the Indo-Pacific region and their respective efforts under India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision’ for achieving their shared objective of peace, prosperity and progress to realise a better future for the people of the two countries and the region.
This meeting is being held after the decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan PM Abe during the 13th India-Japan Annual Summit held in Japan in October 2018 to institute a Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue for further deepening bilateral security and defence cooperation.
While Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will head the Indian delegation for 2+2, the Japanese delegation will be led by Foreign Affairs Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Minister of Defence Taro Kono.
Sources said the meeting between the two defence and foreign ministers will feed into the strategic component of Abe’s visit, which is expected to take place in mid-December.
In September 2017, when Abe last came to India for the bilateral summit, he visited Ahmedabad and a roadshow was organised to welcome him.