Countries & Regions
Seventh Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue (Overview)
On Tuesday, March 26, Minister for Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Fumio Kishida held the Seventh Japan-India Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue with H.E. Mr. Salman Khurshid, External Affairs Minister of India, during the latter’s visit to Japan, at the Iikura House of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The overview of the meeting is as follows. During the first half of this Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue the ministers exchanged views on bilateral relations for around one hour and 15 minutes. Subsequently, following a signing ceremony for the Exchange of Notes for yen loans to India and a joint press announcement, the second half of the meeting was held for around one hour in the form of a working dinner, and the Ministers exchanged views mainly on regional issues. (Note: The Japan-India Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue has been held in Japan and India alternately each year since 2007. Last year, the dialogue was held in Delhi in April.)
- Bilateral Relations
(1) Political and Security Issues, Exchange Program
(i) Minister Kishida noted that he would like to continue preparing for a successful visit to Japan by H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. Minister Kishida stated that he was satisfied with the progress being made in dialogues and cooperation in the political and security fields, and in this regard stressed that he would like to enhance such political dialogues as the Vice Minister level 2+2 dialogue and the Director-General level Japan-India-U.S. trilateral dialogue. Additionally, Minister Kishida expressed his intention to hold the second round of the Japan-India Cyber Dialogue and the Japan-India Maritime Affairs Dialogue within this year. In response, Minister Khurshid stated that India also would like further deepen political dialogue with Japan by promoting the 2+2 dialogue, Japan-India-U.S. trilateral dialogue, Japan-India Cyber Dialogue as well as Japan-India Maritime Affairs Dialogue.
(ii) With regard to Japan-India defense cooperation and exchanges, Minister Kishida expressed his expectation that the second joint naval exercise between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy would be carried out, and stated that, based on the Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership, he would like to implement consultations on the United Nations and policy consultations on Africa as a follow-up to the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V). In response, Minister Khurshid stated that he was satisfied with the deepening of security cooperation between Japan and India, and added that he would forward the message regarding the bilateral naval exercise to H.E. Mr. A.K. Antony, Defense Minister of India.
(iii) Regarding youth exchanges, Minister Kishida expressed his intention to invite approximately 1,200 Indian youths to Japan through the “JENESYS 2.0” programme. Minister Khurshid expressed his deep gratitude referring to the importance of youth exchange.(2) Economic Relations and Cooperation
(i) The two Ministers shared the view that they should advance the consultations on the Dedicated Freight Corridor, India’s high-speed rail system and the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor.
(ii) In the area of economic cooperation, a signing ceremony was held for the Exchange of Notes (E/N) for four yen loans totaling around 220 billion yen. Minister Khurshid expressed his profound gratitude for these loans.
(iii) Additionally, Minister Kishida expressed his intention to contribute a total of 71 billion yen toward the Mumbai Metro Rail Project as a yen loan in the coming fiscal year. Minister Khurshid expressed his heartfelt gratitude explaining that this was a long-awaited project by India.
(iv) Minister Kishida asked for greater efforts in improving the business environment in India, particularly the easing of financial regulations, with a view to promoting more active private-sector investment in India from Japan. In response, Minister Khurshid outlined India’s initiatives thus far and stated that he would continue the discussion on the matter.(3) Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation
The two Ministers affirmed that Japan and India will continue to move forward with talks on this issue.
- Regional and Other Issues
At the working dinner, the two ministers exchanged views on such regional issues as China, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and other countries, and both Ministers shared the view that the Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership would also be strengthened further in these areas.