With Quad in focus, PM Modi, Japan PM Suga hold talks

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 09, 2021, 10:54 PM(IST)

File photos of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga Photograph:( Agencies )

Story highlights

During the talks, the discussion was also on the Mumbai Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) project or the bullet train

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday held talks for 40 minutes with key focus on Quad, a grouping of four countries including India, Japan, Australia and the United States.

The talks between the two leaders come, just days before the first-ever Quad leaders' summit is expected to take place.

The Indian statement said during the talks, both "emphasized that their engagement with like-minded countries" such as Australia and the US. in the form of Quad "holds the value" and "agreed that these useful discussions must continue."

The Japanese readout also spoke on similar lines. It said, two leaders shared the "recognition" that cooperation towards "realizing a Free and Open Indo-Pacific" is becoming "increasingly important and to this end" and shared the view to "steadily advance both Japan-India bilateral cooperation and Japan-Australia-India-U.S. quadrilateral cooperation."

So far, three foreign ministers' level conversations have taken place, two of them physical meetings, one in New York in 2019, another in Tokyo last year and one telephonic conversation just last month. The grouping is seen suspiciously by Beijing, even terming it "Asian Nato".

During the talks, the discussion was also on the Mumbai Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) project or the bullet train which PM Modi said is a "shining example of India-Japan bilateral strategic partnership and expressed his commitment to its successful implementation."

Japan PM is expected to visit India for the annual India Japan summit. The summit has been postponed two times in the last two years.

The Japanese readout pointed that during the talks, Prime Minister Suga expressed "serious concerns" regarding "unilateral attempts" to change the status quo in the East and the South China Sea, China’s Coast Guard Law and the situation in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. 

Importantly, both leaders discussed the situation in Myanmar also, a key global issue. The country saw a coup in February and since then visuals of the violent crackdown have emerged, sparking international concerns. 

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