The Asian Age
Modi, Abe upgrade ties: Japan will invest $ 35 bn
No civil nuclear deal now, but talks speeded up Swipe at China: Modi deplores ‘ expansionism’
India and Japan agreed Monday to enhance their defence and strategic cooperation to a new level during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan PM Shinzo Abe, who also decided to speed up negotiations on a civil nuclear deal that could not be concluded now.
Striking a good personal chemistry, the two leaders had “very fruitful” and “meaningful” exchanges, after which Mr Abe announced doubling of Japan’s private and public investments in India to about $ 35 billion in the next five years.
The talks at the Akasaka Palace ( State Guest House) came on the third day of Mr Modi’s first major bilateral visit outside South Asia. Mr Abe had gone the extra mile in receiving his old friend in Kyoto on Saturday and spent the weekend with him on a tour of two ancient Buddhist temples, besides hosting a banquet.
Significantly, at an interaction with business leaders, Mr Modi deplored the “expansionist” tendencies among countries which “engage in encroachment” and “intrude” into the seas of others, comments that were seen as a veiled but clear reference to China.
At the summit talks, the two nations decided to raise their relationship to a Special Strategic Global Partnership, to emphasise that a developed India and a prosperous Japan was important for Asia and for global peace and security.
“This is not just raising the relationship from one category to another... Our relationship is not only regional in its framework, but will have a global impact,” said Mr Modi.
While agreeing on greater cooperation in defence goods and technology, the two sides decided to expedite talks on modalities for the sale of Japanese US- 2 amphibian aircraft.
“The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of defence relations between India and Japan in their strategic partnership and decided to upgrade and strengthen them,” a joint statement issued after the talks said.
On the civil nuclear deal, that was earlier expected to be finalised during the visit, both Mr Modi and Mr
Promotion Partnership for development of projects, including infrastructure and the building of smart cities. The five- year period will also see the doubling of the presence of Japanese firms in India, Mr Abe said.
The Japanese PM said that as an example of Indo-Japan cooperation, Tokyo will help India in providing financial, technical and operational support to introduce bullet trains, a project that Mr Modi has been actively pursuing.
Coinciding with the summit, Japan removed six Indian space and defencerelated entities from its foreign end user list. Mr Modi appreciated this decision and said both countries were looking forward to enhanced trade and collaboration in high- end technology.
The six companies removed from Japan’s end user list can now enter into transactions involving sensitive dual- use equipment, technology and software. “We have to decide if we want to have ‘ vikas vaad’ ( development) or ‘ vistar vaad’ ( expansionism) which leads to disintegration. Those who follow the path of Buddha and have faith in ‘ vikas vaad’, they develop... But we see those having ideas of the 18th century engage in encroachments and enter seas ( of others),” Mr Modi said at the business event.
He did not name any country, but the comments may be seen as targeting China, which is engaged in territorial disputes with a number of its neighbours, including India, Japan and some others including Vietnam.
Thanking Mr Abe for giving him an opportunity to make Japan his first bilateral visit outside South Asia, Mr Modi said: “We both have decided to raise the relationship to a special strategic and global partnership by giving it a special emphasis.”