Tokyo: Minister of External Affairs of India, Sushma Swaraj while on visit to Tokyo met Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. India and Japan’s kinship is from the heart and thus blessed with potential for growth, Abe told Swaraj in the meeting. Both Swaraj and Abe conveyed their determination towards extensive co-operation for stability and security of India and Japan’s ‘Indo-pacific’ marine region. Taking into account China’s activities that had earlier caused instability in this sector, India and Japan’s co-operation here is said to be significant.
Swaraj, the External Affairs Minister had visited Japan to attend the 9th India-Japan Strategic Dialogue. There she met her counterpart Taro Kano and discussed entire gamut of bilateral ties. During the discussion along with bilateral ties, ‘Indo-pacific’ region’s stability and security was also reviewed. Both the nations are prepared to preserve the sovereignty and integrity of this region as well as its freedom of navigation. After this, Minister of External Affairs Swaraj met Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. This is when Abe affirmed their unanimity with India which he said is natural and then warmly stated that the traditional friendship between India and Japan is characterized by “heart-to-heart” bonds.
India and Japan’s accords therefore are blessed with great opportunities and huge potential for growth, Abe further said with assurance. Shinzo Abe had always taken dogged efforts in backing India and Japan’s relations. Realizing the threat due to China’s increasing aggression in Pacific region, Shinzo Abe had asked India to raise its influence in the Pacific, therefore becoming the first among the important leaders to have demanded so. Abe is also known to be the first leader to have named the stretch from Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean as the ‘Indo-Pacific’.
A decade ago, when Shinzo Abe was Japan’s Prime Minister, he had comprehensively thought over the ‘Indo-Pacific’ region, China’s activities in it as well as threat it posed to the sovereignty of all the nations. He had also conveyed stern indications about the same. Abe’s stand concerning India on this background is yielding more importance at present. China’s media has always targeted India and Japan’s associations, deeming it to be against it. Likewise, China has often raised objections over India and Japan’s collaborations regarding defense. China had also openly threatened India during India-US’s ‘Malabar’ naval exercises, irked by Japan’s involvement in it. Though now Japan’s naval forces are also officially part of these naval exercises while Australia is also said to be joining in soon.