Gol gappe pe charcha: PM Modi, PM Kishida review bilateral relations

Two leaders discuss various issues as Japanese PM gets hooked on Indian delicacies; PM Modi will attend G7 Hiroshima Summit at Japanese PM’s invitation

NEW DELHI | Updated: 21 March, 2023 4:22 am IST

Japanese Prime minister Fumio Kishida got hooked on the taste of India when he met Prime minister Narendra Modi as the two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and ways to further strengthen them.

The two leaders also exchanged views on Defence, Technology, Trade, Health, and Digital partnership. Kishida also extended a formal invitation to his Indian counterpart to attend the G7 Hiroshima Summit, scheduled to take place in May this year and PM Modi has accepted the invitation.

India and Japan have shared a ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’ since 2014. The ‘special’ relationship was there to see as both leaders took a stroll at Buddha Jayanti Park in the national capital.

PM Modi also introduced PM Kishida to Indian food and the Japanese PM seems to have developed a special liking for Gol Gappe. He was seen asking for “one more” as he tried Indian street food. Apart from chai (Indian tea), PM Kishida also tasted Lassi.

“At the outset, I extend a warm welcome to PM Kishida and his delegation to India. PM Kishida and I have met several times in the last year. And each time, I have felt his positivity and commitment towards India-Japan relations. And therefore, his visit today will be very useful to maintain the momentum of our cooperation,” PM Modi said while welcoming his Japanese counterpart.

Both leaders discussed various topics to enhance the relationship between the two countries

 

The timing of the bilateral talks held significance as India and Japan are holding the Presidencies of the G20 and G7, respectively.

Inviting PM Modi to the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, PM Kishida said, “I formally invited PM Modi to the G7 Hiroshima Summit. And he immediately accepted my invitation.”

“Today, PM Kishida extended an invitation to me to attend the G7 Leaders’ Summit to be held in Hiroshima in May. I thank him from the bottom of my heart for this. A few months later, in September, I will have the opportunity to welcome PM Kishida back to India for the G20 Leaders’ Summit. May this series of our talks and contacts continue like this, and may India-Japan relations continue to touch new heights,” PM Modi said.

Terming India and Japan relationship as natural, PM Modi said, “With India chairing the G20 and Japan the G7, this is the perfect opportunity to work together on our respective priorities and interests. Today, I explained in detail to Prime Minister Kishida about the priorities of India’s G20 Presidency.”

“Giving voice to the priorities of the Global South is an important pillar of our G20 Presidency. We have taken this initiative because we are a culture that believes in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, and in taking everyone along,” PM Modi added.

The two leaders also discussed the evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific against the backdrop of China’s rising military assertiveness.

“The India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership are based on our shared democratic values and respect for the rule of law in the international arena. Strengthening this partnership is not only important for both our countries, but it also promotes peace, prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” PM Modi said.

The two leaders also discussed the evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific against the backdrop of China’s rising military assertiveness

 

In our conversation today, we exchanged views on Defence Equipment and Technology collaboration, Trade, Health, and Digital partnership. We also had a fruitful discussion on the importance of reliable supply chains in semiconductors and other critical technologies,” he said.

“Last year, we had set a target of Japanese investment of 5 trillion yen in India in the next 5 years, that is, three lakh twenty thousand crore rupees. It is a matter of satisfaction that there has been good progress in this direction,” he added.

Japan is the 5th largest investor in India. A large number of Japanese companies are exploring opportunities in India in several sectors. Today, there are around 1450 Japanese companies that are operating in India, in comparison to only a few hundred eight years ago. As of today, 26 Japanese companies have benefited from Production Linked Incentive Schemes.

“Both countries aim towards working together on converging our priorities on critical global issues, including food and health security, energy transitions and economic security,” PM Modi said.

“In 2019, we set up the India-Japan Industrial Competitiveness Partnership. Under this, we are increasing the competitiveness of Indian industry in areas such as logistics, food processing, MSME, textiles, machinery and steel. Today we also expressed happiness over the activeness of this partnership,” PM Modi added.

PM Modi further said that the two countries are celebrating 2023 as the Year of the Tourism Exchange. “And for this, we have chosen the theme ‘Connecting Himalayas with Mount Fuji’,” he added.

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