Japan PM Kishida to Announce New Indo-Pacific Plan in India

NEW DELHI (AP) — Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived Monday in India, where he is expected to announce a new plan for a free and open Indo-Pacific and deepen Tokyo’s bilateral relationship with New Delhi ahead of the Group of Seven major industrial nations summit in May.

Kishida said late Sunday that he will present his new action plan for Japan’s free and open Indo-Pacific vision during a speech Monday in New Delhi. The plan is expected to include Japan’s support for human development in maritime security, a provision of coast guard patrol boats and equipment and other infrastructure cooperation.

India is the only Quad member that has not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has refrained from taking sides and abstained from voting against Russia at the United Nations or criticizing President Vladimir Putin.

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In an article for the Indian Express newspaper Monday, Kishida said “the foundation of order in the international community was shaken by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine” and its impact on food access and fertilizer prices were felt by the international community, including in the Indo-Pacific region.

“In order to respond effectively to the various challenges that the international community is currently facing, cooperation between the G-7 and the G-20 has greater significance. Such pressing challenges include food security, climate and energy, fair and transparent development finance,” Kishida wrote.

During his Monday talks with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, Kishida is expected to deepen cooperation between Tokyo and New Delhi, while also addressing food security and development financing, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

The two leaders will also “discuss their priorities for their respective Presidencies of the G-7 and G-20,” the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a press statement.

India and Japan share strong economic ties. Trade between the two was worth $20.57 billion in fiscal year 2021-2022.

The Japanese investments in India touched $32 billion between 2000 and 2019. Japan has also been supporting infrastructure development in India, including a high-speed rail project.

Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.

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