Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be in India from December 15-17, the government said on Friday. The Indian Express has learnt that he is likely to go to Assam as the bilateral meeting will take place in Guwahati. The two leaders are likely to go to Kaziranga National Park and also visit Imphal.
The focus of the visit will be projects in the Northeast, in tune with India’s Act East policy. Delhi and Tokyo have made “significant progress” in the negotiations of Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) since the announcement to commence the negotiations in October 2018.
Last year, the two sides agreed to begin formal negotiations over the ACSA, which would allow the Indian military and the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) to use each other’s bases for logistical support.
The ACSA would permit the Indian Navy access to a Japanese base in Djibouti, while the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) would be permitted to use India’s military installations on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands located in the Indian Ocean, which lie near the Malacca Straits, next to other naval facilities.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Taro Konoon in New Delhi on November 30 for the first India-Japan 2+2 foreign and defence ministerial meeting. The meeting laid the groundwork for the summit meeting between Abe and Modi.
During the meeting between the visiting Japanese ministers and the Prime Minister on November 30, Modi had said that both he and Abe attach great importance to strengthening the bilateral partnership between the two
countries. He had conveyed that he looked forward to welcoming Abe to India for the India-Japan Annual Summit next month, the statement said.
“Prime Minister added that India’s relationship with Japan was a key component of our vision for Indo-Pacific for peace, stability and prosperity of the region, as well as a cornerstone of India’s Act East Policy,” the statement had said.
It had added that the Prime Minister stressed the importance of all-round development in India-Japan relations for the benefit of the two peoples, as well as the region and the world. The PM mentioned that regular high-level exchanges between the two countries are testimony to the depth and strength of the relationship.