Ahead of the first in-person Quad Leaders' Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga reviewed the multi-faceted relationship between the two countries and exchanged views on recent global and regional developments including in Afghanistan during first-in person meeting.
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. This was PM Modi's first in-person meeting with Suga after the latter took office.
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to advance efforts to facilitate the smooth and timely implementation of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) project.
The bilateral meeting comes a day ahead of the first in-person summit of the Quad, quadrilateral cooperation between Australia, India, Japan, and the United States.
They agreed to enhance bilateral security and defence cooperation, including in the area of defence equipment and technologies, according to a statement of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
The two Prime Ministers expressed happiness at their first in-person meeting. They warmly recalled their three telephone conversations since September 2020, when Suga took office as Prime Minister of Japan.
Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Suga for his personal commitment and leadership, both as Prime Minister and Chief Cabinet Secretary earlier, in enabling great advances in the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership over the last few years.
He congratulated Prime Minister Suga for successfully hosting the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games in the midst of a global pandemic, the statement added.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the increasing economic engagement between the two countries.
They welcomed the launch of the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) between India, Japan and Australia earlier this year as a collaborative mechanism to enable resilient, diversified and trustworthy supply chains.
According to the statement, Prime Minister Modi highlighted the need to develop bilateral partnerships in manufacturing, MSME and skill development. Prime Minister Suga informed Prime Minister Modi that in order to operationalize the Specified Skilled workers (SSW) agreement which was signed earlier this year, the Japanese side would be undertaking skill and language tests in India from early 2022.
The two Prime Ministers also discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to address it. They highlighted the increasing importance of digital technologies and in this regard positively evaluated the progress in the India-Japan Digital Partnership, especially in start-ups.
They exchanged views on further collaboration in various emerging technologies. Discussions also took place on climate change issues and green energy transition, and the potential for Japanese collaboration with India's National Hydrogen Energy Mission.
The two leaders also welcomed the progress in bilateral developmental projects in India's North Eastern Region under the India-Japan Act East Forum, and noted possibilities for further enhancement of such cooperation.
Terming Japan as one of India's most valued partners, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that he had an excellent meeting with his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga on a variety of subjects that would further boost cooperation between the two nations.
PM Modi, who is on a three-day visit to the US, said a strong India-Japan friendship augurs well for the entire planet.
"Japan is one of India's most valued partners. I had an excellent meeting with PM Yoshihide Suga on a variety of subjects that would further boost cooperation between our nations. A strong India-Japan friendship augurs well for the entire planet," PM Modi tweeted.
PM Modi and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga had a "fruitful" meeting in Washington wherein they discussed several issues including ways to give further impetus to trade and cultural ties.
"Furthering friendship with Japan. Prime Ministers @narendramodi and @sugawitter had a fruitful meeting in Washington DC. Both leaders held discussions on several issues including ways to give further impetus to trade and cultural ties," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) tweeted.
This was also PM Modi's first in-person meeting with Suga after the latter took over the reins from Shinzo Abe in September last year.
The bilateral meeting comes a day ahead of the first in-person summit of the Quad, quadrilateral cooperation between Australia, India, Japan, and the United States.In April this year, PM Modi held a telephonic conversation with Suga and discussed cooperation in diverse areas including high technology, skill development and combating the COVID-19 pandemic together.
Besides PM Modi, Japanese PM Suga and Scott Morrison of Australia Prime Minister will also participate in the summit hosted by the US President on September 24.
The leaders will review progress made since their first virtual summit on March 12, 2021, and discuss regional issues of shared interests, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said in a statement on September 14.
(With inputs from Agencies)