Minister Hayashi, Minister Hamada, Dr Jaishankar, Members of Press, ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset, I express my gratitude to our host Ministers, their delegations, and their staff forexcellent interaction and their warm hospitality. I deeply appreciate their commitment to our bilateral relations.
During the course of our discussions today, we covered a wide spectrum of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest. As two thriving democracies in Asia, we are pursuing a Special Strategic and Global Partnership. This year is significant for both India and Japan, as we are celebrating 70 years of establishment of our diplomatic relations. This is an important relationship for peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
During today’s discussions, we noted the progress in the military to military cooperation and exchanges between the two sides. We shared a common desire to further increase the scope andcomplexities of our bilateral exercises. We have established staff talks and High-level dialogue between all the three Services and the Coast Guard. I am glad that we have now agreed on Staff Talks between the Joint Staff of the Japanese Self Defense Forces and the Integrated Defence Staff of India. The participation of Japan for the first time in the multilateral exercise MILAN and operationalization of the Reciprocal Provision of Supply and Services Agreement in March this year are milestones in the progress of defence cooperation between our Forces. We are happy to note that our Air Forces are working closely for early conduct of the inaugural Air Force fighter exercise.
Enhancing the Defence Equipment and Technological Cooperation between India and Japan is one of our key priority areas. In our meeting today, I had the opportunity to propose engagements in emerging and critical technological domains. I have also invited the Japanese defence companies to look at opportunities in investing in the Indian Defence Corridors.
We held extensive discussions on ways to enhance maritime cooperation including Maritime Domain Awareness. There is consensus on both sides that a strong India-Japan relationship is very important for a free, open, rule-based and inclusive Indo-Pacific based upon sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations. India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) shares many commonalities with Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). India has also developed maritime cooperation with regional partners in consonance with our inclusive vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).
India’s relationship with ASEAN has emerged as a key corner stone of our foreign policy. Through ADMM Plus, both India and Japan are working together with ASEAN and other Plus countries for strengthening cooperation across domains including maritime security, HADR, Peace Keeping Operations etc.
We had the opportunity today to share our views on important issues, regional and global, and concurred on the need for peaceful resolution of disputes in consonance with international law.
I once again thank Minister Hayashi & Minister Hamada for the extremely productive discussions today and for expressing their commitment towards furthering the India-Japan partnership.