Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Japan on July 3 and 4, about 10 days before he visits Brazil for the BRICS summit. This will be his second bilateral visit overseas after he visits Bhutan on June 15 and 16.
The Japanese side had extended an invitation to Modi shortly after he spoke to PM Shinzo Abe. Modi is one of the three people Abe follows on Twitter. The Japan PM was the chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade earlier this year.
Sources said the issues of trade and civilian nuclear cooperation will figure prominently during Modi’s visit.
Bilateral ties between the two countries had witnessed a dramatic transformation when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was PM.
Recognition of the mutual advantage in enhancing and widening the ambit of bilateral relationship has driven India-Japan ties in the past 15 years.
During the then Japan PM Yoshiro Mori’s visit to India in 2000, the ‘Japan-India Global Partnership in the 21st Century’ was launched, providing an impetus to relations between the two countries. The initiative formed the foundation for strengthening ties in diverse fields.
The joint statement signed by former PM Manmohan Singh and Abe in 2006 added a new dimension to factor in new challenges and the relationship was upgraded to a ‘Global and Strategic Partnership’ with the provision of annual Prime Ministerial Summits. India is the only country with which Japan has such annual summit meetings alternating between Delhi and Tokyo.
Thanks to the elevation of relations and the annual summit mechanism, there has been unprecedented progress in the bilateral economic and strategic engagement in recent years, resulting in cooperation in a vast swathe of fields, including defence and security.