Tokyo, Oct 7: Reaffirming the mutual trust and shared values, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi on Wednesday participated in the India-Japan Strategic Dialogue. Both the ministers discussed various issues including security in the Indo-Pacific region, trade, and COVID-19.
Both the leaders reviewed the progress made in India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership and discussed convergence in various areas, including "maritime security, trade and investment, manufacturing, skill development, connectivity and infrastructure, health and wellness, Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI), and UN Reforms."
With an aim to enhance the two ministers highlighted the need for robust and resilient digital and cyber systems, recognizing the increasing role being played by digital technologies. Due to this, they welcomed the finalization of the text of the cybersecurity agreement. "The agreement promotes cooperation in capacity building, research and development, security and resilience in the areas of Critical Information Infrastructure, 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), among others," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
The two ministers emphasized that a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region must be premised on diversified and resilient supply chains, and in this context, they welcomed the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative between India, Japan, Australia, and other like-minded countries. Concurring that the Indo-Pacific region has acquired greater salience in recent times, they underscored the need for India and Japan to work together for the benefit of the region.
Reaffirming the similarities in their respective Indo-Pacific visions, that are based on rule of law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Japanese side agreed to be the lead partner in the connectivity pillar of the Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) and jointly take both countries’ respective visions for the Indo-Pacific forward.
Further, the two ministers exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest and agreed that the strong and enduring partnership between the two countries will play a pivotal role in overcoming challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister responded that he intends to continue working with Jaishankar to further elevate the Japan-India Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
Referring to the signing of exchanges of notes in late August for Japan's COVID-19 measures for India, namely a 50 billion yen emergency assistance loan and a 1 billion yen grant aid for the provision of medical equipment, Motegi expressed his hope that this assistance will contribute to developing the health and medical systems of India, including the COVID-19 response.
The MEA also added, "The two ministers wished each other the very best and looked forward to the conduct of the next Annual Bilateral Summit in India at a mutually convenient time for the two Prime Ministers".
Earlier, Jaishankar on Tuesday participated in the second Quadrilateral or QUAD - India, US, Australia, and Japan - ministerial meeting in Tokyo. Further, he also held bilateral metting with his US and Japan counterparts.