Will Modi-Abe Chemistry Make an Impact in Asia? (Ratnesh Dwivedi and Shivanshi Gupta)

Prime Minister of India H.E. Shri Narendra Modi visited Japan on October 28-29, 2018 for the India-Japan Annual Summit with Prime Minister of Japan H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe.

During the meet Abe described Modi as one of his most dependable and valuable friends and added that he himself will be friend of India for his whole life. Abe's friendship with Modi is world known and that won him the bid to construct first bullet train in India over the bid of China.Later in the day Abe hosted a lunch for Modi in Mount Fuji where PM Modi presented him some traditional Indian gifts. And dinner was organized in Abe's own villa near Lake Kawaguchi in Yamanashi.Abe's invitation to Modi in his native holiday home in Nawasa village was first to any political leader which shows how much value Abe gives to PM Modi. Later PM Modi tweeted that Abe taught him to eat with chopsticks.

During the visit, recognizing the unparalleled potential for development of relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Abe reviewed the significant milestones achieved over the last four years and outlined the following shared vision for the future of India-Japan relations:

The India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership, firmly rooted in history and based on common values is the mainspring for advancing the two countries’ shared strategic objectives and achieving peace, prosperity and progress to realize a better future for the people of the two countries. As the two Prime Ministers resonantly elucidated in the series of SAMVAD dialogues, the universal values of freedom, humanism, democracy, tolerance and non-violence, which have been shared between India and Japan throughout a long history of academic, spiritual and scholarly exchanges, not only constitute the basis for the India-Japan bilateral relationship but also underscore the principles for the two countries to work together for the benefit of the Indo-Pacific region and the world at large.
The two leaders shared their view that in order to achieve this shared vision, India and Japan must endeavour to work together for a rules-based and inclusive world order that fosters trust and confidence by enhancing communication and connectivity to ensure rule of law, unimpeded trade and flow of people, technology and ideas for shared prosperity.

Prime Minister Modi recognised that the India-Japan relationship has been transformed into a partnership with great substance and purpose and is a corner stone of India’s Act East Policy. Prime Minster Abe underscored the basic importance of India-Japan relationship for the regional order and is determined to advancing the "new era in India-Japan relations” so as to further cooperate for peace, stability and prosperity of Indo-Pacific. Based on their shared vision, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their unwavering commitment to working together towards a free and open Indo-Pacific. The two leaders also affirmed that ASEAN unity and centrality are at the heart of the Indo-Pacific concept, which is inclusive and open to all. They shared willingness to expand concrete cooperation with the U.S. and other partners. The two leaders’ vision for the Indo-Pacific is based on a rules-based order that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, ensures freedom of navigation and overflight as well as unimpeded lawful commerce, and seeks peaceful resolution of disputes with full respect for legal and diplomatic processes in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including those reflected in the UNCLOS, without resorting to threat or use of force.

Partnership for Prosperity

The two Prime Ministers reviewed with satisfaction the cooperation on development of connectivity via quality infrastructure, and other projects including capacity building for shared prosperity, carried out bilaterally and with other partners, in an open, transparent and non-exclusive manner and based on international standards, responsible debt financing practices, and in alignment with local economic and development strategies and priorities. This synergy is embodied in collaborative projects between India and Japan in the Indo-Pacific region, including in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh as well as in Africa. In this regard, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the discussions for establishing the "Platform for Japan-India Business Cooperation in Asia-Africa Region” to further enhance the exchanges between Japanese and Indian businesses toward developing industrial corridors and industrial network in the region.

Partnership for Peace
The two Prime Ministers viewed with great satisfaction the enormous progress made in the last decade in fostering joint efforts towards shared security since the signing of the India-Japan Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation in 2008. They reaffirmed their desire to further deepen bilateral security and defence cooperation and institute Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2), in addition to existing mechanisms, including the Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue, Defence Policy Dialogue, the National Security Advisers’ Dialogue, Staff-level Dialogue of each service. The two leaders welcomed the joint exercise between each of the three services and the commencement of negotiations on the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), which will enhance the strategic depth of bilateral security and defence cooperation.
Both leaders acknowledged the significant progress in maritime security cooperation, as seen in the high frequency of bilateral naval exercises and deepening level of the Malabar exercises, as well as long standing dialogues and training between the Coast Guards. Recognizing that enhanced exchanges in expanding maritime domain awareness (MDA) in the Indo-Pacific region contributes to regional peace and stability, they welcomed the signing of the Implementing Arrangement for deeper cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
Cooperation between India and Japan on defence equipment and technology holds immense scope and potential for strengthening technological capability and industrial infrastructure through joint efforts between the public and private sectors. To this end, both leaders further reaffirmed to promote interaction between Indian and Japanese defence industries and relevant authorities, and also welcomed the commencement of the cooperative research in the area of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and Robotics. The two sides will continue to make efforts with regard to cooperation on US-2 amphibian aircraft.

Partnership for Global Action
The two Prime Ministers underlined the importance of their growing collaboration for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They committed themselves to strengthening environmental partnership in areas such as pollution control, sustainable biodiversity management, chemical and waste management, climate change and waste water management, utilizing the cooperation framework between their relevant authorities. Underscoring the need for concerted global action to combat climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement adopted under UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), they shared the view to play a leading role in this field, and reiterated their commitment to finalising the work programme for implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerate further consultations for establishing the Joint Crediting Mechanism.
Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening cooperation on sustainable and clean forms of energy, including nuclear and renewables; explore possibilities for collaboration in hydrogen-based energy, while also continuing their efforts for cooperation in use of clean coal technology, petroleum and natural gas projects and LNG supply chain and welcomed "Japan-India Energy Transition Cooperation Plan”. India and Japan will further collaborate in energy efficiency and conservation, energy storage as well as manufacturing of eco-friendly vehicles including hybrid and electric vehicles. The two leaders welcomed the progress of India-Japan consultations on civil nuclear cooperation, and decided to continue discussions in this regard. India welcomed Japan’s decision to join the International Solar Alliance as it will strengthen global efforts to promote the deployment of solar energy as a clean, affordable and sustainable energy option.

(Ratnesh Dwivedi is an India born Academician and works as Associate Professor of Journalism at Institute of Management Studies,Noida in India.Shivanshi Gupta is First Year Journalism student at Institute of Management Studies,Noida in India and this is her first write up for an International Platform)

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