EAM Jaishankar calls for expansion of India, Japan partnership to Russia, Pacific Island

WION New Delhi, India Sep 18, 2020, 07.08 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Photograph:( ANI )

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Ties between the two countries have substantially increased in the last few years due to former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday called for an expansion of the partnership between India and Japan in third countries such as Russia's far east and Pacific Island.

The comments are significant since Russian far east borders China and China has been keen to grow its engagement with Pacific Islands.

Speaking at a FICCI virtual event, he said, "one is possibility of economic cooperation in Russian far east, because India has shown much greater willingness to be involved in economic projects there and the other is pacific island countries, we have development partnership and political footprints..has grown significantly".

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Vladivostok last year for annual India-Russia bilateral Summit and announcing a Line of Credit of USD 1 billion for development projects in the Russian Far East region. The Line of Credit (LOC) will facilitate undertaking infrastructure and other development projects.

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India is also increasing its outreach to Pacific island countries, especially via the Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation or FIPIC which has India and 14 Pacific Island countries, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Both countries already have a partnership in third world countries for infrastructure and project development. Joint projects are underway in Sri Lanka, and with EAM saying both are "trying to see if we can cooperate in Bangladesh and Myanmar."

India, Japan engage via "act east forum" which is chaired by foreign secretary of India and Japanese envoy to Delhi. It coordinates Japanese investment in India's northeast and the wider region increasing connectivity to Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Jaishankar called Japan as India's "most trusted partners and great inspiration for modernisation in Asia," saying, "we had the Maruti revolution, the metro revolution and bullet revolution in the making..because of the history of Japan, because of the strengths of Japan, it makes you more invaluable partner in our own journey to modernity".

Ties between the two countries have substantially increased in the last few years due to former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Jaishankar said, India, Japan ties have turned from "narrow bilateral relation" to "landscape of interaction now broader" and signifying "maturing of relations". Adding, it is not "Delhi talking to Tokyo", the relationship has "more conversations, has substance today..and reflects the journey of last 25 years".

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