India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently on an official visit to Japan at the invitation of Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan. Earlier Friday, the two Prime Ministers held wide-ranging consultations in Tokyo, during which they undertook a comprehensive review of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership as outlined in the “India and Japan Vision 2025” set forth on December 12, 2015. They acknowledged the significant progress in bilateral relations over the past two years since Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Japan in August-September 2014.
Synergising the Partnership
The two Prime Ministers appreciated the deep civilisational links between the people of the two countries, including the common heritage of Buddhist thought, and underscored their shared commitment to democracy, openness, and the rule of law as key values to achieve peaceful co-existence. They welcomed the high degree of convergence in the political, economic and strategic interests of the two countries that provides an enduring basis for a long-term partnership.
The two Prime Ministers underscored the rising importance of the Indo-Pacific region as the key driver for the prosperity of the world. They stressed the core values of democracy, peace, the rule of law, tolerance, and respect for the environment in realising pluralistic and inclusive growth of the region. In this context, Prime Minister Abe appreciated Prime Minister Modi’s active engagement in the region under the “Act East Policy,” and briefed Prime Minister Modi on the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.” Prime Minister Modi appreciated Japan’s greater engagement in the region under this strategy. They recognised the potential for deeper bilateral cooperation and synergy between the said policy and strategy.
They further stressed that improving connectivity between Asia and Africa, through realising a free and open Indo-Pacific region, is vital to achieving prosperity of the entire region. They decided to seek synergy between India’s “Act East” Policy and Japan’s “Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure,” by closely coordinating, bilaterally and with other partners, for better regional integration and improved connectivity as well as industrial networks based on the principles of mutual consultation and trust.
Reviewing the deepening interdependence and complexity of the global agenda, the two Prime Ministers also decided to expand common space and their cooperation on global challenges such as climate change, countering terrorism and violent extremism, reform of the United Nations (UN) including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), as well as maintaining rules-based international order.
Keeping in mind the immense potential for combining Japan’s capital, innovation and technologies with the rich human resources and economic opportunities available in India’s high-growth economy, the two Prime Ministers underlined the need to intensify cooperation in high technology, space, clean energy and energy sector development, infrastructure and smart cities, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals, ICT, as well as education and skills development to strengthen and deepen their Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
Building a Stronger Partnership for Safer and Stable World
Stressing the role of India and Japan for stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, the two Prime Ministers reiterated the need to further consolidate their security and defence cooperation. They welcomed the entry into force of the two Defence Framework Agreements concerning the Transfer of Defence Equipment and Technology and concerning Security Measures for the Protection of Classified Military Information. They underscored the need to further expand defence engagement through greater two-way collaboration and technology cooperation, co-development and co-production, by expediting discussions for determining specific items including through the Joint Working Group on Defence Equipment and Technology Cooperation.
The two Prime Ministers appreciated the successful Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue held in New Delhi, Japan’s regular participation in the Malabar Exercise and the International Fleet Review off the coast of Vishakapatnam. They reaffirmed their desire to further deepen bilateral security and defence dialogues, through the “2+2” Dialogue, Defence Policy Dialogue, Military-to-Military Talks and Coast Guard-to-Coast Guard co-operation. They also welcomed that, with the inaugural air force staff talks held earlier this year, the two sides now have institutional wide ranging dialogue mechanism in place covering all three services. The two Prime Ministers shared their intention to expand dialogue and cooperation in the defence sector to cover exchange of observers in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) exercises, and exchange and training of personnel in other fields.
Prime Minister Modi conveyed his appreciation for Japan’s readiness to provide its state of the art defence platforms such as US-2 amphibian aircraft. It symbolises the high degree of trust between the two countries and the distance that Japan and India have covered in advancing their bilateral defence exchanges.
Partnership for Prosperity
Prime Minister Modi briefed Prime Minister Abe about his Government’s efforts to accelerate economic development through innovative initiatives such as “Make in India,” “Digital India,” “Skill India,” “Smart City,” “Swachh Bharat” and “Start-Up India.” Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s firm support for these initiatives by sharing its advanced skills and technologies, through active mobilisation of Japanese public and private sector investments, including through ODA. The two Prime Ministers underscored that these initiatives provide significant opportunities for further collaboration between private sectors of India and Japan.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the steady progress made in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project, a flagship project between the two countries, through the discussion in the Joint Committee meetings held thrice in 2016.
The two Prime Ministers noted the target schedule of the MAHSR Project that the General Consultant will start its work in December 2016, that the construction work will commence by the end of 2018, and that the operation will start in 2023.
The two Prime Ministers also welcomed that a task force will be set up comprising representatives of both countries to develop a concrete roadmap for phased transfer of technology and “Make in India.” Both sides will explore further strengthening of partnership in high speed railways. The two Prime Ministers emphasised the critical importance of human resource development in high speed rail technology, operation and maintenance in a planned manner, including the commencement of preliminary work on establishment of HSR Institute and development of its training programme. The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of accelerating the MAHSR Project by holding the Ground Breaking Ceremony in 2017. The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction, the growing collaboration between India and Japan in the modernisation and expansion of conventional railway system in India.
The two Prime Ministers decided to cooperate on the human resource development in the manufacturing sector in India through “Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme.” This programme will enhance the manufacturing base of India and contribute to “Make in India” and “Skill India,” through training 30,000 persons over next 10 years with Japanese style manufacturing skills and practices through the establishment of the Japan-India Institutes for Manufacturing (JIM) and the Japanese Endowed Courses (JEC) in engineering colleges designated by Japanese companies in India in cooperation between the public and private sectors. The first three JIMs under the Programme would start in summer 2017 in the States of Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the steady progress to realise 3.5 trillion yen of public and private financing to India in five years under the “Japan-India Investment Promotion Partnership.” They also welcomed the progress in the projects at the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC). The two Prime Ministers also confirmed the importance of securing appropriate implementation of ODA projects.
Prime Minister Modi appreciated the significant contribution of Japan’s ODA in the development and modernisation of infrastructure in India. In this regard, the two Prime Ministers welcomed progress in the ODA projects in urban transportation sector such as the Chennai and Ahmedabad Metro, the Mumbai Trans Harbor Link project, and the introduction of the Intelligence Transport System along the Eastern Peripheral Highway in Delhi. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s intention to support the upgrading of the ship-recycling yards of Alang, Bhavnagar District of Gujarat.
The two Prime Ministers expressed their strong commitment to work together to enhance connectivity, and welcomed the progress of the projects to enhance road connectivity in North Eastern India. They decided to build upon their cooperation in the field of smart cities to develop smart islands by initiating consultations to identify technologies, infrastructure, development strategies and management processes that would facilitate development of smart islands in an efficient and effective manner.
Prime Minister Modi appreciated the provision of ODA loan to the irrigation project in Jharkhand, and the preparatory survey for forest resource management in Odisha and irrigation improvement in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
Prime Minister Modi appreciated Japan’s efforts to support the construction of a Convention Centre in Varanasi and recognised its symbolic importance as a sign of strengthening bilateral ties.
Prime Minister Abe commended Prime Minister Modi’s strong commitment to improve business environment in India, and welcomed reforms undertaken for liberalising investment policies, simplifying and rationalising taxation system through the passage of historic Goods and Services Tax Bill, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and other measures.
Prime Minister Abe appreciated the actions taken by Prime Minister Modi on improving the business environment in India and creating enabling environment for Japanese investments .Prime Minister Modi appreciated the initiatives by Prime Minister Abe towards establishment of Japan Industrial Townships (JITs). He expressed confidence that establishment of these townships will enhance technology infusion, innovation and best practices in manufacturing sector in India. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the progress related to JITs including the focused planning by selecting a few areas out of the twelve JITs for pilot implementation and special investment incentives. They also agreed to continue to engage in consultation and cooperation in development of JITs.
Prime Minister Abe also expressed appreciation for the facilitation provided by the “Japan Plus” for the Japanese companies in India and the coordination by the “Core Group” chaired by Cabinet Secretary for the facilitation of Japan-India Investment Promotion Partnership. The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction that the bilateral Strategic Economic Dialogue, Financial Dialogue and meetings on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) were held successfully this year and underlined the importance of these dialogues and their subcommittees to deepen bilateral cooperation. They also welcomed the entry into force of the Agreement on Social Security in October 2016, which would reduce costs of business and further facilitate human and economic exchanges between India and Japan.
The two Prime Ministers confirmed the importance of implementing the “Japan-India Make-in-India Special Finance Facility” of up to 1.5 trillion yen by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to promote direct investment of Japanese companies in India. They welcomed the Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) between the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) to explore funding for infrastructure projects in India.
Working together for a cleaner and greener future
The two Prime Ministers recognised that access to reliable, clean and affordable energy is critical for economic growth of both countries, and in this regard, they welcomed the Japan-India Energy Partnership Initiative laid by the Japan-India 8th Energy Dialogue held in January 2016. They further desired to strengthen bilateral energy cooperation as it will contribute not only to the energy development of both countries, but also to worldwide energy security, energy access and climate change issue. They also reaffirmed their intention to promote transparent and diversified Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) market including elimination of destination clause.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and reaffirmed their commitment to work together in developing the rules for successful implementation of the Agreement. They also shared the intention to hold as early as possible further consultations on the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM).
Prime Minister Abe welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s efforts, particularly in the area of renewable energy, including the establishment of the International Solar Alliance.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of India for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy which reflects a new level of mutual confidence and strategic partnership in the cause of clean energy, economic development and a peaceful and secure world.
Welcoming the growing collaboration between their private and public sector entities in environmentally friendly energy efficient technologies, the two Prime Ministers underlined the importance of promoting further cooperation in such areas as clean coal technologies and popularisation of eco-friendly vehicles including hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles etc.
The two Prime Ministers expressed their intention to achieve an early conclusion of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.
Laying the Foundation of a Future-oriented Partnership
The two Prime Ministers recognised the vast potential for deeper bilateral collaboration of science and technology to fundamentally transform societies. They also stressed the importance of enhancing space cooperation, and welcomed the signing of the MOU between JAXA and ISRO. They also appreciated extending cooperation in the area of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, including through the Memorundum of Cooperation (MOC) between the Ministry of Earth Science and JAMSTEC. They noted the progress made in bilateral IT and IoT cooperation through the bilateral Joint Working Group on IT and Electronics, the Japan-India IoT Investment Initiative in cooperation with JETRO, and Joint Committee on Science and Technology.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the successful holding of the “Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2016” in New Delhi, following the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. They recognised the potential for cooperation in the area of disaster management and disaster risk reduction. They also acknowledged the importance of the World Tsunami Awareness Day to raise awareness, promote better understanding of risks and develop tools to address it.
The two Prime Ministers also welcomed progress of cooperation in the field of healthcare including antimicrobial resistance, stem cell research, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. They also noted the opportunities for collaboration between Indian and Japanese pharmaceutical companies in light of the target regarding the quantitative share of generic medicines in Japan.
Investing in People for a Durable Partnership
The two Prime Ministers stressed the need to further strengthen the opportunities for tourism, youth exchange and educational collaboration, and decided to mark the year 2017 as a year of India-Japan friendly exchanges in the field of culture and tourism. They welcomed the MOC in the field of Cultural Exchange. They expressed their strong desire to promote tourism flows between the two countries and noted with satisfaction the inaugural meeting of India-Japan Tourism Council and look forward to the second meeting in Japan in 2017. They also welcomed the planned opening of the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) office in Delhi in FY 2016.
Prime Minister Abe announced a relaxation of visa requirement for Indian students and expressed his intention to expand the number of visa application sites for Indian nationals to twenty. Prime Minister Abe thanked Prime Minister Modi for extending the Visa on Arrival facility as well as long-term ten-year visas to Japanese tourists and investors.
Prime Minister Abe briefed about Japan’s new initiative “Innovative Asia” to enhance exchange of skilled human resources in Asia. The two Prime Ministers hoped that this initiative would provide Indian students new avenues to avail of scholarship and internship opportunities and would further foster innovation.
The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction the successful realisation of the first bilateral High-Level Policy Dialogue on Education, and stressed the need to further strengthen collaboration in education including through expanded university-to-university institutionalised links. The two Prime Ministers also underscored the importance of sharing the best practices regarding the education models, and initiatives such as SAKURA Science Plan (Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Programme in Science) under which young Indian students and researchers visit Japan.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the MOC on Sports between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan to promote sharing of experiences, skills, techniques, information and knowledge, with a special focus on Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. Prime Minister Abe welcomed that Prime Minister Modi offered to support Japan’s efforts towards the successful organisation of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
The two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of increased interaction between all levels of the government, between parliament members, and between Prefectures and States. They welcomed the signing of the MOU between the State of Gujarat and Hyogo Prefecture on mutual cooperation. They also expressed satisfaction at the strengthened ties between the City of Kyoto and Varanasi, two ancient cities integral to their respective cultural heritage.
Prime Minister Modi welcomed the growing interest in Japan in celebrating the International Day of Yoga. Prime Minister Modi also encouraged the Japanese Yoga enthusiasts to avail of Indian scholarships for training in the most reputed yoga institutes in India.
The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of the empowerment of women and the need to strengthen cooperation in this area, including efforts through conferences such as the World Assembly for Women (WAW!).
Sharing the view that the future of Asia needs to build on the positive influence of traditions of non-violence, tolerance, and democracy in Asia, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the symposium on “Shared Values and Democracy in Asia” held in Tokyo in January 2016 and looked forward to the next conference in 2017.
Working Jointly for Strengthening Rules-based International Order in the Indo-Pacific Region and Beyond
The two Prime Ministers stressed the potential that the collaboration of India and Japan have in realising prosperous Indo-Pacific region in the 21st century. They decided to draw on the strength of shared values, convergent interests and complementary skills and resources, to promote economic and social development, capacity building, connectivity and infrastructure development in the region. In this regard, Prime Minister Abe proposed a new initiative combining the human, financial and technological resources of the two countries to advance these objectives including through Japanese ODA projects. Prime Minister Modi acknowledged the importance of bilateral cooperation in this regard.
The two Prime Ministers underscored the importance of India-Japan dialogue to promote cooperation and collaboration in Africa, with the objective to synergise their efforts and explore specific joint projects including in the areas of training and capacity building, health, infrastructure and connectivity. In this regard, they also expressed their intention to work jointly and cooperatively with the international community to promote the development of industrial corridors and industrial network in Asia and Africa.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the prospects of cooperation between the two countries for promoting peace and prosperity in South Asia and neighboring region, such as Iran and Afghanistan, through both bilateral and trilateral cooperation, inter-alia, in the development of infrastructure and connectivity for Chabahar. They directed their officials to expeditiously work out details for such cooperation.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the holding of trilateral dialogue among Japan, India and the United States, and strengthened coordination and cooperation in such areas as HA/DR, regional connectivity as well as maritime security and safety. The two Prime Ministers also welcomed continued and deepened trilateral dialogue among Japan, India and Australia.
Welcoming the progress in strengthening the East Asia Summit (EAS) process as the premier leaders-led forum to discuss regional political, economic and security issues, the two Prime Ministers decided to work together towards making the Summit a more dynamic proactive process. They welcomed the convening of the EAS Ambassadors’ Meeting in Jakarta and the establishment of the EAS Unit within the ASEAN Secretariat. They stressed the importance of enhancing maritime cooperation and regional connectivity within the EAS framework.
The two Prime Ministers expressed their willingness to shaping and strengthening the evolving regional architecture through enhanced cooperation in ASEAN-led fora such as ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum and coordination of their actions to tackle global and regional challenges including maritime security, terrorism and violent extremism, and climate change.
They expressed their strong hope that these regional and trilateral dialogue mechanisms will be further developed and contribute to a balanced, open, inclusive, stable, transparent and rules-based economic, political and security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region.
The two Prime Ministers condemned terrorism in strongest terms in all its forms and manifestations in the spirit of “zero tolerance.” They noted with great concern the growing menace of terrorism and violent extremism and its universal reach. They expressed their condolences to the bereaved families of the victims of both countries in the recent terrorist attacks including in Dhaka and Uri. They called upon all countries to implement the UNSC Resolution 1267 and other relevant resolutions designating terrorist entities. They called upon all countries to work towards eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, in disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels, and stopping cross-border movement of terrorists. They underlined the need for all countries to effectively deal with trans-national terrorism emanating from their territory. They emphasised that the evolving character of terrorism called for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism and violent extremism, including through increased sharing of information and intelligence. The two Prime Ministers noted the ongoing bilateral dialogue on counter-terrorism and called for enhanced cooperation including through greater exchange of information and intelligence between the two sides. They also called for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of terrorist attacks including those of November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai and 2016 terrorist attack in Pathankot to justice.
The two Prime Ministers affirmed closer cooperation in safeguarding the global commons and domains such as maritime, space as well as cyber.
The two Prime Ministers reiterated their commitment to respecting freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded lawful commerce, based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). In this context, they urged all parties to resolve disputes through peaceful means without resorting to threat or use of force and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities, and avoid unilateral actions that raise tensions. As the leaders of the State Parties to the UNCLOS, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their view that all parties should show utmost respect to the UNCLOS, which establishes the international legal order of the seas and oceans. Regarding the South China Sea, the two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of resolving the disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law including the UNCLOS.
The two Prime Ministers condemned in the strongest terms North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, including its uranium enrichment activities and strongly urged North Korea to refrain from any further provocation, to fully comply with its international obligations and commitments, including under relevant UNSC resolutions and to take actions towards the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their determination to cooperate against proliferation activities posing a threat to the region. They also urged North Korea to address at the earliest the abductions issue.
Prime Minister Abe briefed Prime Minister Modi on Japan’s efforts to further contribute to peace, stability and prosperity of the region including through initiatives such as “Proactive Contribution to Peace.” Prime Minister Modi acknowledged Japan’s positive contribution to regional and global stability and prosperity.
The two Prime Ministers called for expeditious reforms of the UN including the UNSC to make it more legitimate, effective and representative, taking into account the contemporary realities of the 21st century and reiterated their resolve to work closely with likeminded partners to realise this goal. They welcomed the creation of the “Group of Friends” on UNSC reform which would provide impetus to the ongoing Inter Governmental Negotiations including significant movement towards the launch of text-based negotiations. The two Prime Ministers reiterated their support for each other’s candidature, based on the firmly shared recognition that India and Japan are legitimate candidates for permanent membership in an expanded UNSC.
Recognising India as the largest democracy and a fast growing large economy in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan firmly supports India’s membership in the APEC. The two Prime Ministers decided to work towards liberalisation and facilitation of trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. They reaffirmed to cooperate towards conclusion of modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement. The two Prime Ministers decided to work towards liberalisation and facilitation of trade, including through WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement and through enhanced trade in goods and services, and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of enhancing communication and cooperation on excess capacity in steel industries including through the formation of the Global Forum on steel excess capacity as called for by the G20 leaders this year.
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Abe stressed the importance of early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). They called for an immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) on the basis of Shannon Mandate. They also expressed their resolve towards strengthening international cooperation to address the challenges of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.
The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of effective national export control systems. Japan welcomed India’s recent accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) and its intensified engagement with the export control regimes. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to work together for India to become a full member in the remaining three international export control regimes: Nuclear Suppliers Group, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group, with the aim of strengthening the international non-proliferation efforts.
Prime Minister Modi thanked the Government and people of Japan for their warm hospitality and extended a cordial invitation to Prime Minister Abe to visit India at a mutually convenient time for the next summit meeting. Prime Minister Abe accepted the invitation with appreciation.